Why do we fast?
“Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full." Matthew 6:16
Food for the body or fear of the LORD? We fast to remind ourselves that Jesus is more important to us than food, drink or even our life itself.
At St Crispin's, we fast every third Thursday of the month in order to teach ourselves to value Christ above every other thing. We come together to break the fast with a meal before praying together.
Food for the body or fear of the LORD? When we fast we make a choice about what matters most to us. Our body tells us that food is the most important thing.
Food for the body or fear of the LORD? What matters most to us? Perhaps we eat when we are sad or stressed or bored. Perhaps we think that the right diet will make us happy or solve all our problems. Food can give us comfort in the short term. Food can give us a feeling of being full or contented. However, we always become hungry again. The food that our bodies want is food that lasts only a short time - and the satisfaction it gives only lasts a short time. When we fast we are making a choice about what matters most to us.
Food for the body or fear of the LORD? When we fast we are saying “no” to the short term comforts of our body and we want to say ‘yes’ to Jesus the Bread of Life. We want to eat the food of eternal life, the food that will satisfy us forever and ever. Drawing near to the Living God and receiving life from Him is the only kind of ‘food’ that can fully satisfy us. On this day of fasting, we want to learn the fear of the LORD. We want to learn that all the fears and desires of this passing life are nothing compared to that great and terrible majesty and glory that is the Living God. As we fast let’s set our hearts and minds on the Glory of God and ask Him to teach us the fear of the LORD. When we fear Him then we are set free from all our fears… and free from all the desires and delusions that try to control us.