Today is ASH WEDNESDAY – which is the beginning of LENT – the 40 days prior to the Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s a Christian tradition – and traditions are meaningful only when it points you to something else. It’s never the goal. So what’s the goal?
Easter is for celebrating what Jesus did on the Cross – it should be the craziest celebration of them all. But we live in a delusional time in the West. We live as though we have no need [when in fact we’re completely desperate]. And avoid pain like the plague. God becomes like Target – we go when we when need something or need some pain taken away. We’ll never *get* Jesus this way…
We get Jesus, understand him, become awestruck by what he did… when we realize that we can NOT do it on our own. No way. No how. When we embrace our inability… we’ll see his ability… to do what we can never do. Redeem, restore and bring life to where there is no life.
FASTING is a simple way… to remind us that we can’t do it. Take food for example: say you fast lunch… around 12:30, you’re stomach’s screaming. At 2:30… you start dreaming of that glazed donut. By 4:30 you wonder whether that old piece of cheese in the fridge is still good. Finally at 7:00 you’ll eat anything that moves.
Two responses while you’re fasting:
:: I’m going to destroy anyone who gets in the way of me and my double double. OR…
:: You can use the desperation to:
- Remind you that you need him. Really need him. Even more than a burger. It might show you that you love burgers more than Jesus.
- Help you understand in a very, very small way that many in the world go without a regular daily meal. And your understanding will lead you to action. Donate to the Red Cross, buy a meal for a buddy who is low on the dough, buy 2 hotdogs [1 for you and 1 for the homeless guy you’re going to sit next to for lunch]… for example.
That’s if you choose to fast lunch for the next 40 days. You do have some options. Here’s a handout for our community on fasting for Lent. Download and read.
There is this thing that happens when we are broken down to our core. We see God for who he is. We see ourselves for who we really are. We’ll love him for who he is. And we’ll find that he loves us for who we are too. I think that’s worth it.
More info on fasting written by Bill Bright HERE.
So do this:
- Ask God what you should fast. Ask him. He might bring some surprising things to mind.
- Share it with your house community or zealot group or as a comment on this post.
We’ll do a community wide fast on food on the final week before Easter and break our fast on Good Friday together – more info to come. But for Lent, ask God… and then do what he says. Go.