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Isn’t Fasting Some Medieval Christian Ritual?
Often the church chooses to let go and forget the disciplines that served her so well in the past. We feel they have served their purpose and then callously throw them aside for something more trendy, modern, and popular. And this is especially true of the forgotten discipline of fasting.
I mean, who really wants to fast? And isn’t fasting some Medieval Christian ritual that we stopped doing centuries ago? Plus, if I fast, won’t it mark me as some sort of fanatic or Christian extremist? If I fast, won’t I really be just starving myself? That can’t be healthy. And I’m not sure there are any real-time benefits for fasting (other than losing weight). Why? Because I don’t know anyone who fasts. In fact, I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who fasts.
So what’s the big deal?
Remembering the Forgotten Discipline of Fasting
Jesus expected His disciples to pray. He said, in the Sermon on the Mount, “when” you pray, and not “if”.
Matthew 6:5 – “And when (not, if) you pray…”
Matthew 6:6 – “But you, when (not, if) you pray…”
Matthew 6:7 – “And when (not, if) you pray…”
But look at what the Lord says about fasting. He assumes it is something His disciples would do, like praying, and not something that was optional.
Matthew 6:16 – Moreover, when (not, if) you fast…”
Matthew 6:17 – “But you, when (not, if) you fast…”
And, like with His teaching on prayer, Jesus speaks about the motives behind fasting and not if His disciples should practice it. That was a given. It was assumed.
There is much to learn about this all-important forgotten Christian discipline called fasting. Join us today as we dig deeper into the amazing world of fasting.