Saturday, 16 February 2013

F(e)asting...

Reading

Isa 58; Lk 4:1-12; Lk 5: 27-39

Fasting is an age old religious practice. Fasting is usually defined as a withholding of all natural food from the body for a determined period voluntarily appointed for moral or religious ends. E. B. Tylor writes that "it originated in the desire of primitive man to bring on at will certain abnormal nervous conditions favorable to those dreams which are supposed to give to the soul direct access to the objective realities of the spiritual world." However, a popular Christian belief prevails that when you fast and pray things get down immediately. But, lets take a closer look at this fasting act.

Prophet Isaiah writes Fasting is a day to humble oneself. More than abstaining from food it is actually inviting the marginalized for having food together with you. More than remaining at home it is time to go for shopping, not for yourself but to buy things to give for others who are in need.

So why did Jesus go for fasting? becomes a classical question for all those who love going to wilderness, and living without food. Have a closer look a Jesus' fasting. While Jesus was fasting it was his time for preparation for doing his father's will. And during his fasting days he was tempted by the devil, where he made choices not for himself but to do his Father's will. He was choosing a best possibility.

Take a look at Levi (Matthew) what does he do after meeting Jesus. He went home and invited Jesus for dinner. After he was saved he did not run into desert for fasting, instead he threw a party opened his home for his friends who were in need of salvation. He opened up his house, so Jesus can meet so many of his kind. He was feasting, but at the same time he bet he was praying for his friends to be saved. This is the real attitude for fasting.

So when is your fasting day? Look for bunch of guys whom you think are not church-going kind and not religious, they are the ones whom you need for fasting. Give them food to eat, invite Jesus to speak to them. You think you want to abstain from buying things for yourself, well take a f(e)asting day buy things for those who are in need. That is fasting commendable in God's eyes.

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