SISTER MARIAN’S WEB-
THE SERMON SLOT
LUKE 5: 33-
This is something we usually think about during Lent because this is our penitential season and fasting is part of the church's discipline during this time as a sign of our repentance.
It used to also be part of our Advent preparations for Christmas. However with many parties taking place pre Christmas, it is for many a 'forget about it' time.
But why fast at all.
Let me share with you some reason why I fast.
I am a comfort eater. When under stress of any kind, or things are not going well, I turn to food. If you look over photographs from my life you can always tell when things were good and when they were bad. I'd diet and loose weigh when things were good and eat the weight back on when they were not. It looks as if someone blows me up like a balloon and then deflates me!
It is not food I should turn to at difficult times, but to God. During Lent I acknowledge that I have substituted God with food and fasting or strict dieting is my way of saying sorry and also of disciplining myself to try to remember this next time I am tempted to comfort eat.
But for me, fasting is not just for Lent. This year has been very stressful I have turned to food again and the pounds started to pile on.
Fasting for me is a necessary discipline that helps me battle against the sin of turning to food instead of God at difficult times and by adding to it by getting obese which will have a detrimental effect on my health and make me generally less able to serve. I end up feeling better spiritually, mentally and physically with the added benefit that I look better and my clothes fit!
But I also think fasting is appropriate because it helps us to identify with the starving peoples of the world and to acknowledge the greed of rich countries and our exploitation of them in order to get cheaper goods. We have a glimpse of how it feels to be limited in what we have to eat and perhaps to appreciate God's gift of food for us and to acknowledge our role in doing what we can for those who are starving.
Jesus began His ministry by spending time in the desert and fasting for forty days. During that time He prepared Himself for what lay ahead. Many have testified that during a time of fasting and retreat they have had wonderful experiences of God and it has prepared them for what He wants them to do.
In Acts 13: 1 – 3 we read of some prophets and teachers who received a message from God during a time of fasting. In Matthew 6 Jesus commends fasting but as a private matter between individuals and God.
Fasting is a discipline. It is denying ourselves what we want. It teaches us to go with out and is an indication of repentance for the general greed of the world in which we share.
Some of us can only fast with God's help because we find it very difficult.
This teaches us about our reliance on God and what we can achieve with and through His help.