Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - February 14, 2020

Most often in the Protestant calendar, fasting is practiced during Lent (40 days plus Sundays before Easter). Fasting is often seen as a sacrifice. We forsake something to help us be mindful of others who may go without by force rather than choice (fasting from food can help us be mindful of those who are hungry day in and day out, fasting from specialty drinks can remind us of those who don’t even have clean water to drink). Fasting can be used to clear the clutter from our lives. We can be challenged to clear the noise of television or the internet. Fasting can also challenge us to turn to God instead of vices or distractions. Instead of chocolate, or alcohol, or Facebook, or whatever else we might use to help ourselves feel better, or feel less…we are invited to fast and ask God to fill our void instead.

 

 

Fasting has taken many forms in my life over the years. During Lent, I’ve fasted from coffee, dessert, TV, Facebook. I’ve “fasted” in the sense of clearing SpaceX for God and adding in a spiritual practice…adding in a devotional time, a journaling practice, or some type of self-care.

 

In seminary, I noticed (with the help of my pastoral counselor) how hard I was on myself. I was regularly speaking words of judgment and criticism to myself. So, that year I gave up self-deprecation for Lent. If a negative thought came to mind, I’d simply say “Not today” and dismiss it. (Some judgments were easier to quiet than others). And in its place, I added a ritual of blessing myself. I would take time daily to bless my body and my being, recognizing that I was a beloved child of God and claiming that as more important than any critique I, or others, might offer.

 

Which is all to say fasting isn’t just making yourself “hangry for Jesus.” It is a beautiful practice of mindfulness, intentionality, humility, and yes, sacrifice to draw us into a deeper relationship with God and others. If you haven’t tried it yet, I invite you to try it.

 

 

p.s. I know not all of us were able to join a small group, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the study and try the practices yourself. We have extra booklets available if you’d like one. And if you are interested in a small group, we still have space. Simply contact me or Crystal Tibbals (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Peace and Grace

Pastor Debbie

 

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