Scripture: Mark 2:13-22
Key verse: (18) Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”
Reflection: Intermittent fasting is very trendy these days, focusing on changing your eating patterns. It offers healthy benefits and weight loss. Fasting has been the center of many conversations lately, very few of them were for spiritual reasons. It does help people understand others who practice fasting during Lent. They understand the concept of fasting and they have seen benefits. It is harder to explain the spiritual significance.
In the time of Jesus, Jews fasted to show repentance and anticipation for the coming Kingdom. It represents a commitment to growth in relationship to God and others. In this time of Lent, fasting should not be an end in itself.
Jesus’ disciples were being challenged because they were not joining in the fast. Jesus compared his disciples to guests at a wedding banquet while the groom was present. Like a wedding, it was time to celebrate in anticipation of a whole new relationship coming into being.
During Lent, we take time to nurture this relationship. Whatever your Lenten commitment, let it not be an end in itself. Reflect on your practice and allow it to guide you closer to God.
Prayer: On this journey of Lent, God be our guide. Open our hearts to your love. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].