Friday, March 12, 2010

Better late than never: A unique Lenten fast

A couple of people have recently reminded me that fasting for Lent isn't just about what you're giving up--it's fasting toward something; and in the broadest sense, it's fasting toward God. I've been intrigued by the concept of fasting lately--how it trims the fat from our souls, makes us hunger for God.

As a side note, someone else remarked that when we're struggling with specific sins, as we seek to move toward God in prayer and other disciplines--aside from just focusing on that sin--we experience more victory as we simply commune with Him. Great thought. It's got to be a little like the woman who touched Jesus' garment, or those who laid in Peter's shadow: Just being near God changes us.

All this to say, my sister sent me this link from the UK, and I found it to be a unique spin on a Lenten fast: restraining carbon emissions (scroll down for a Word or PDF document detailing each day's fast for the 40-day period). The Anglican bishop from this church remarks,

All of us need to think more deeply about the energy we use and the effects on other people. I commend the Diocese of Sheffield's Carbon Fast for Lent 2010 as a really helpful and imaginative way to focus on the effects of climate change on the world's poorest people.

In short, they're fasting toward awareness of our own actions on the poor--toward compassion, in my understanding. Seemed an interesting insight to God's heart, who links fasting to compassion and justice in Isaiah 58.

1 comment:

Alison said...

"It trims the fat from our souls, makes us hunger for God."

A very insightful way to describe fasting. Thanks for sharing!