Community Fast -- The Final Day
If you're fasting food you may be feeling somewhat out of it by now, and so relieved that we're nearly there. You've nearly done it! And however you've fasted, God honors your efforts. Hiccups and all.
Fasting afflicts our soul, sends us crashing to the floor in weakness, makes us like vulnerable newborn babies.
But equally, it's a common adventure for us as a community, and that part I love. We've been doing this together for years now, and each year we learn a little more about how to fast or we see each other try something new ... courageously.
I've learned that one person's fast is completely different to another person's; and I shouldn't expect what happens to one person to happen to me. After all, God works with us each so individually. My recent fasts, for example, have been very quiet in terms of hearing God. I've often expected some grand revelation, but it's not necessarily been like that. All I know is that it does change things. I look back at all these years of fasting now, and do believe it has strengthened many of us, enabling us to walk in victory in some quite difficult circumstances.
Spiritually, we are a powerful army when we fast like this, together. It's as if we're marching forward in ranks, side by side, not looking to the right or the left. Only forward. Only towards our God. Armored up, and focused. And while it's tough as anything, it's a pleasure to do this with you, to be part of these ranks, and to know that on all sides not only do I have the mighty hosts of Heaven, I also have my fellow soldiers in this community.
So as we march towards the finish line (yay!!) I wonder if we can do two things today just before our fast closes? I'll be doing this an hour or so before the end, and then will ease into eating gradually.
First, take communion. Before our fast Lynn shared a recipe for unleavened bread. Or, take a regular cracker, juice or wine, and then sit in the quiet and read one of the passages in the Gospels where Jesus talked about the Lord's supper. Those can be found in Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, and Luke 22:17-20. Or you could read some of John chapters 14-17. Marinate a little and thank him for the week.
And second, would you take some time to pray for the whole SUM community? That is, the SUMites, their homes, their spouses, and their children? What a lovely thing that would be for so many of us to be lifting up our voices in prayer for these homes. It'll be not unlike our recent day of worship, where our prayers will reach Heaven hour by hour, seeing as we are spread across so many time zones.
Thanks everyone, it's been a meaningful week as always. Next week I'm on holiday with my family in the South Island of New Zealand (a place called Queenstown) so the blog will be quiet. But we'll all be back again the week after.
And now it's your turn: Tell us about your fast, how has it gone? Did you experience anything spiritually? I can't wait to read the comments.
Love to you all,