I don’t know about you, but the holidays are never too kind on my waistline. Right about this time of the year – I can see the feasting beginning – and I try to come up with a mental plan in my head. “Don’t overdo it this year. Moderation. Willpower. This is the year that I don’t gain weight. Oh, who am I kidding? I might as well make my New Year’s resolution and just go for it!” Yep, pretty sad.
At the same time, during most of the year, I actually fast once a week. This is nothing too hard, I just take one day a week and don’t eat, usually from dinner to dinner. This is a spiritual practice I have done off and on since seminary, and every year since staring Covenant Grove. I have seen it as an important part of being a church planter. The time I would have given to eating I give to praying and focusing on God. I am also a little weaker (and more grumpy, to be honest) when I am fasting, so I have found I have to slow my pace down for this day – which is a good reminder for me.
Feasting and Fasting – both are a part of my life. I think both are supposed to be a part of the life of a Christian. God Himself instituted the Feasts of the Old Testament, showing there is a rhythm to life, and times to celebrate – even with food. Of course, that doesn’t mean I should overdo it, or forget that there are people starving even while I am eating. There is a time to celebrate, and God wants us to celebrate (even Jesus turned water into wine!). There is also a time to fast. This is not dieting, or making up for overeating (though we may need to do that for health reasons). Fasting is about Jesus. Feasting is also about Jesus. It is all for Him, with Him.
This Wednesday night we are gathering for our Thanksgiving Eve Service. It is at 7pm at Living Faith Church in Riverbank (4825 Roselle), and everyone is invited. This is a time to focus on Christ, to thank God for His blessings, and to eat! So bring a snack to share. These are traditions that we have, and they are good reminders to put our eyes on Christ and remember who we are. We are more than consumers, we are more than what we accomplish or own – we are the people of God. Feasting and Fasting are both about Jesus, we need them both. Fasting and Feasting both remind us who we are – in Him.