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Fasting and Feasting

posted Jan 25, 2013, 12:17 PM by Uumc Topeka

Fasting and Feasting

Saying No and Saying Yes


Lent is a period of forty days that begins on Ash Wednesday, (Feb. 13) and ends on Holy Saturday (March 30), the day before we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (The Sundays in Lent are not counted as part of the forty days.)

 Many devoted Christians through the ages have entered into the Season of Lent as a time of spiritual repentance, reflection and renewal as we move towards the Great Celebration of the Feast of Easter. Persons called to join the Body of Christ have used this time of preparation for their Baptism on Easter Sunday. Whether you are coming as a devoted Christian, or seeking Baptism, or are seeking to join the church as a new or recommitted member, this can be a wonderful time of prayer, purification and preparation for all.

 Lent is traditionally the season in which many Christians choose to FAST. Though fasting refers specifically to going without food in some way, any kind of abstinence can be a powerful form of purification and preparation when done mindfully. Jesus and his disciples fasted. John Wesley fasted every Wednesday and Friday as a young man, and as he aged, every Friday (not just during Lent, but all year long!)

 When we abstain from something prayerfully we create a space, an opening for the Lord to visit more deeply and powerfully with us. We can abstain from anything: food, sex, electronic communication, artificial light… We can also abstain from those things that fill us with harmful energy - like gossip, cursing, complaining, or any number of other things.

 Ask the Lord to direct your thoughts in this Lenten season. What does Spirit want you to say “no” to? What does Spirit want you to say “yes” to?

May we all use the days ahead to prepare to receive the New Life that is offered to all of us in the Gift of the Resurrected Christ.

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,  where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” (Luke 4:1-4 NRSV)

 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. O taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:1, 8a NRSV)

 Pastor January