Fast or Feast - some thoughts

  • Buffer
  • Sharebar
  • Buffer
jethro's picture

My mother pointed me to an interesting article the other day, titled Keep the Fast, Keep the Feast by Peter Leithart who blogs at

CB004060_LoRes He starts by writing this:

Over the centuries, Christians have fasted for many reasons. Sometimes the reasons have been good. The apostles and their churches fasted and prayed before selecting elders or ordaining missionaries. Christians have fasted in mourning for their sins. They have fasted and prayed to combat demons and to plead with God for relief from disaster.

Often, of course, they have fasted for bad reasons. They fasted because they believed flesh was evil, because they felt desperately guilty and forgot God’s love in sending his Son to cleanse their sins, because they wanted God to notice how wonderfully pious they were.

In spite of errors and abuses, Christians in the past had sound intuitions about the centrality of fasting in the Christian life. In the early Church, fasting was not an isolated practice reserved for a day or a season. It was a clue to all Christian living, a perspective on the whole of discipleship. To be a Christian meant to participate in a great feast. It meant also to observe a great fast.

I was interested enough to read on and found some real gems.

Jesus refused, and refused, and then refused again, and in so doing broke the power of Adamic sin. Jesus kept the fast; he waited, labored, suffered, died, and then opened his hand to receive all the life, glory, honor, authority, and dominion that his Father had to give Him. He kept the fast and as a result was admitted to the fullness of the kingdom’s feast—because by that time both it and he were ready. And by resisting the devil, Jesus sets the pattern of true fasting and reveals a Lenten way of life.

and these paragraphs on Sex

And Lenten sexuality is like unto it. Lent teaches us to renounce the two-dimensional, bodiless sex that we can seize so easily on the web, in magazines, on the screen. Lent teaches us to wait. But Lent also shows that we don’t wait out of prudish hatred of sex, but out of admiration for its mysterious potency. Sex is so pleasurable, so obsessively delightful, that we have to have our senses trained before we can handle it well. Abstinence is the fast that prepares us for the feast of marriage. Lenten sexuality honors creation by insisting we take time to get ready.

and Politics.

Lenten politics is also the politics of patience and restraint. History is littered with the rubble and severed limbs left behind by Adamic tyrants, who seized power they were incapable of using well. Even competent rulers can forget that ripeness is all. Christians who enter the public square are not to clamor and cling and scramble for a place at the table or a higher rung on the ladder. Christians enter the public square looking to serve, waiting and ready for the fruit when it’s offered.

Go and read the whole article at First Things


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
OliviaB.'s picture

As we progress beyond the

As we progress beyond the half-way point of lent, I've come across a little gem of wisdom: God is best heard in the silence. Silence consists of a lack of sound. It's like a blank page waiting for writing. When you fast, you clear out some of the clutter inside of you because your initial wants and self-interests can get in the way of God's voice. Clear that up a bit and you allow God to speak to you. Happy fasting!
San Diego DUI lawyer

jethro's picture

thanks Olivia - nice advice.

thanks Olivia - nice advice.