Fasting is an age-old spiritual practice that has mostly lost its place in American Evangelical Christianity. Yes, there are some that practice it. Fasting remains strongly part of the Orthodox church and somewhat the Roman Catholic church.
As American Evangelical Christianity has discovered Advent and Lent, fasting has become more prevalent. Fasting was originally fasting from life-giving things like water and food. American fasting is no internet, no Facebook, no chocolate, or other things that are of questionable faith value.
This is not to trivialize what people choose to fast from, but more as a check against our desire to avoid significant self-sacrifice.
You might be wondering why fasting, today? It’s not yet Advent (but it’s coming!), nor is it Lent. We are in a season of fasting right now, and it hasn’t been one of choice.
This all comes to mind as the church as a body struggles with what it means to be the family of God without the building. The building served its purpose and will serve again. It has been like the kitchen of many homes, the focus of family life. The church building has been the focus of church life. Yet, the church “kitchen” is now under serious remodeling.
We are only starting to figure out what exactly the post-remodel might look like, and the plans keep getting revised. First, there was going to be a bar…now there’s not. There was going to be a pantry, but that didn’t work either. The double-sink was coming along…then…
That’s pretty much what it feels like right now.
Most fasts are self-directed, but this one isn’t. That doesn’t mean that it can’t and won’t be used by God to shape us.
One of the biggest take-a-ways is that it really isn’t the building that is the church. It’s been said for a number of years. Yes, the building has been a place at which we have focused on gathering. Now, not only are we being encouraged to be at each other’s homes, we have to have church!
We’re all tired of the “remodeling”. We want it to be over.
1) What is changing about your view of church?
2) How are you living and “doing” church with the kitchen closed?
3) Place is important. How can we make the places we are in now be holy and be church?
Holy Spirit, guide us through these trying times. May we be stirred to fulfill the mission in whatever new way you call us to. Amen.