We're in the season of Lent. A religious tradition which incorporates fasting, abstaining from certain foods in most cases, not always complete abstinence from food. I'm not very religious so I usually find myself in the middle of it and then the light bulb comes on.
But I came across this today, FAST, pray love and it really struck a chord with me.
It plays upon a well known book title Eat, Pray, Love which was made into a movie. (Yes I saw parts of it, on TV, it was comfortable filler on a busy afternoon when I needed a break, it was cute enough)
...not quite as profound as promoted by Oprah back in the day. This article 'Fast, Pray, Love' approaches profound closer than the book 'Eat, Pray, Love' in my mind.
The author says, "Those people who say fasting is just an ego-based endurance test are right. I'm going to do something different this year. I am going to fast from badmouthing people. I am going to fast from something that can effect some actual good"
ha ha, I think that comes closer to the matter for me, and it's always a temptation for all of humanity to seek their own glory even in spiritual matters of fasting. The Bible has much to say for the benefit of our human nature,
'When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.' Matthew 6:16
Matthew 6:17-18 - "But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Isaiah 58:6-9 - ""Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I."
Very interesting article, what happens to your body when you fast:
Lots of health nuts, cultures and religions partake in this practice. Why do Christians do it?
So much written about fasting on the internet! (I could go on but I'll spare you)
I'm chosing this poetic instruction to the soul as my meditation during this season of Lent.
Hoping that you will be blessed by it as well!
Happy preperation for Easter.
1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions and
seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
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