14 March 2008

A bit more on fasting

With Holy Week beginning this Sunday, Palm Sunday (Palmarum), it is good, right, and salutary to continue the Lenten fast. Here's a nice little explanation on fasting from my good friend, Pastor Weedon. May God bless us all with a prayerful, solemn Holy Week as we prepare for the true feast of the Resurrection of our Lord!

Is there a LUTHERAN way to fast?

Yes! The Augsburg Confession disdains the distinction of meats, and does so solidly based on Colossians But that doesn't mean that Lutherans didn't and don't fast. If we remember that fast mean "to go hungry" the solution is apparent: skip meals! It's not a matter of what FOOD you give up for Lent, but a matter of what MEALS and feeding (as in snacking!) you set aside. If one follows the typical Western fast, one eats but 1 and 1/4 to 1/2 meals per day. This is not done to impress God, but to train our bodies (that our belly is not our boss) and to free up time for prayer and money for charity. I bring this up again because we are preparing to enter Holy Week. During this week as we give time to specially contemplate the Passion of our Lord, the discipline of fasting is highly appropriate for all who can safely do it. A complete fast on Good Friday suggests itself to allow for total concentration upon our Lord's self-immolation for our salvation. Fasting is such a blessed discipline and is a bodily form of prayer - as we are reminded that no earthly food can satisfy the hunger of the human being, which is ultimately a hunger for the Blessed Trinity - to whom be glory forever!

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