Fasting and Feasting

Fasting, or ‘giving things up for Lent’, is a very ancient tradition, but one we find very difficult in a culture that tells us continually we should immediately satisfy our every want.

Although the ‘giving things up for Lent’ tradition is grounded in this idea of fasting, I think a much more effective way of ‘fasting’ is to set aside our own selfishness and self-absorption for a while, and to ‘take on’ a greater concern for others, and to do this in a way that puts us out of our comfort zone a little.

Recently on Sunday we shared one way of doing both these things at the same time–giving something up and helping the parish! I encourage you to take one of our parish pledge cards, give up one coffee, a bar of chocolate or a glass of wine and then increase your giving to the Parish by $5 per week. If we can get 50 people to commit to this small extra giving, the parish’s bottom line will improve enormously.

A couple of years ago, I shared these ‘fasting’ pledges with you. They are definitely worth sharing with you once again:

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling within them
Fast from emphasis on differences, feast on the unity of all life
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that gratify
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude
Fast from anger; feast on patience
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism
Fast from worry; feast on trust
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer
Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope
Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence

Mother Lynda

Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22, Ephesians 2:1-10, John 3:14-21