Fasting: A Life Lived

“‘We have fasted before You!’ they say.
    ‘Why aren’t You impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
    and You don’t even notice it!’

“I will tell you why!” I respond.
    “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
    you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting
    when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
    will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves
    by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
    like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
    and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
    Do you really think this will please the Lord?” Isaiah 58:3-5

Forgive us, Lord.  Amen.

Lent: The Season of Fasting

And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy and [m]sour and [n]dreary like the hypocrites, for they put on a dismal countenance, that their fasting may be apparent to and seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward [o]in full already.” Matthew 6:16

During this season of Lent,  the 40 days before Easter, many pious folk will be abstaining from something that is meaningful to them.  In Jesus’ day fasting meant not eating, which I think is the most difficult.  It is a true sacrifice to deny the body what it craves and to wrap all of this in regular clothes and a smiling face, is the true test of my motivation.  I desire no other audience than my Lord’s and He has promised that I will be rewarded in the open for all to see.  What is my reward?  An intimacy with Him such as I have never known.  Fasting is more than a religious exercise during a certain season.  It is the entry way into a deeper life with Jesus.  There is nothing more precious than that.

”  And Jesus replied to him, It is written, Man shall not live and be sustained by (on) bread alone [b]but by every word and expression of God.”  Luke 4:4