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Fast with Us?

February 11th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

Fasting begets prophets and strengthens the strong. 
Fasting makes lawgivers wise; it is the soul’s safeguard, 
the body’s trusted comrade, the armor of the champion, 
the training of the athlete.

Basil, Bishop of Caesarea (AD 330-379)

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

Lent is nearly here, and we have an invitation for you.

fastingThis Lent at FAPC, we will be talking about (and practicing together!) the classic Christian disciplines. One of the first disciplines we will study is fasting.

Fasting has a long and revered place in the Judeo-Christian faith. Jesus began his earthly ministry by going out into the desert and fasting.

This year, as Lent begins, the clergy invite you to join in a one-day fast on Ash Wednesday — Feb. 18, one week from today.

A few caveats: 

  • There are medical conditions that make fasting ill-advised. If you have any concerns, please consult your doctor.
  • Anyone who has experienced an eating disorder in the past should be cautious about a food fast. You can always fast from other things, like video games, shopping or television.
  • Pregnant or nursing mothers should not fast.
  • Young children should not fast.
  • If you have a math test at school or a big presentation at work on Wednesday, don’t fast. In fact, if — for whatever reason — Wednesday isn’t a good idea, pick another day.

How will this work? 

We are inviting you to join us in refraining from food and beverages other than water for 24 hours. Your last meal before the fast will be on Tuesday evening. We will break the fast on Wednesday evening. During the fast, we encourage you to drink a lot of water. We suggest that you avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Why is fasting a spiritual practice?

It is an experience that can focus us. To be sure, fasting is challenging. It can make us feel irritable. It can make us feel weak. When these things happen, Christians turn to prayer. We ask God for strength and gratitude and perspective.

FastingPrayerIs there some area of life where you have been seeking wisdom from God?

Every time you find yourself yearning for food or caffeine during the fast, lift up the issue that concerns you and ask God for guidance. You may find new clarity.

Finally, approach the fast not as drudgery, but as grace. Not as a hardship, but a blessing. This is a chance to walk a path that Christians have traveled for centuries as they sought to become more aware of the presence of God.

Are you in? 

Give it some thought. Pray over it. If you do attempt a fast, I’d love to hear about your experience. Please share your thoughts here…

See you in worship,

SBJ

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Ellen MacCulloughNo Gravatar

    Dear Rev Scott,
    I did fast as you suggested. Slowing down my
    metabolism, tuning in to the still, soft voice
    within, and reverently with a humble spirit beginning this Lenten Season.
    Thank you.
    Ellen MacCullough

  • SBJNo Gravatar

    Amen to slowing down for Lent…

    Thanks so much, Ellen.