In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus says,

“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting… But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret.

The church universal has a tradition of fasting during the 40 days of Lent in preparation for Easter. A tradition that came out of people preparing to be baptized and make their profession of faith. I’m not a huge fan of giving something up for Lent. I have often encouraged people not to give something up, but instead, to take on something new for this season. Most years, I actively dodge questions about what I was going to give up and kept wondering what a good spiritual practice for the season would be. In the nick of time, I came across a blog post that discussed getting back to the basics of Lent. The author said those basics were simple: prayer, fasting and giving alms. Fasting is an ancient practice, but it’s one that Christians have long regarded as important and useful to their relationship with God, but I want us to consider fasting from how we live our daily lives and re-focus upon our relationship with Christ. I would like us as a congregation to consider fasting, but fasting as Pope Francis suggests:

Fast This Lent?
In the words of Pope Francis

  • Fast from hurting words …and say kind words
  • Fast from sadness …and be filled with gratitude
  • Fast from anger …and be filled with patience
  • Fast from pessimism …and be filled with hope
  • Fast from worries …and have trust in God
  • Fast from complaints …and contemplate simplicity
  • Fast from pressures …and be prayerful
  • Fast from bitterness …and fill your heart with joy
  • Fast from selfishness …and be compassionate to others
  • Fast from grudges …and be reconciled
  • Fast from words …and be silent so you can listen

I hope that fasting from these worldly struggles might bring you closer in your walk with our Savior, Jesus Christ. I also hope that you will join us for our Lenten Bible Study on Sunday mornings and our Lenten Worship Services:

Ash Wednesday on February 14 – 7:00 pm
Palm Sunday on March 25 – 9:30 am
Maundy Thursday on March 29 – 7:00 pm
Good Friday on March 30 – 7:00 pm
Easter on April 1- 9:30 am

In Christ,
Phil Oehler