And let me put in a good word for fasting, and I don’t mean the minimal requirements of the church.
For years, I did longer fasts of five to seven days and it was easier to do than imagined because a little button in my brain related to food just clicked off. I was usually hungry the first day, but not after that. The energy usually given to the digestive process was channeled into a higher state of spiritual awareness. And fasting brought up emotional issues big time, causing psychological as well as physical cleansing.
Fasting is a powerful spiritual tool I urge you to consider. And youre not going to starve or ruin your health in a few days, as some would have you believe. Fasting is great for your health and is recommended many times in the Bible.
Tilapia because it’s the fish we had for dinner that set off the smoke alarm because we left the kitchen door open and set off neither stove nor ceiling fan.
If this be penance, make the most of making fun of us holy people.
This NCReporter lady has obviously given the matter some thought:
Results are what we should be looking for this Lent, lifelong habits and virtues nurtured through our chosen disciplines.
We live in challenging times just as Jesus did, and to be a disciple of Christ requires much spiritual maturity and strength. Following Jesus example, lets go the extra mile and really expose ourselves to the sometimes scary influence of the living God, which just might turn out to be unconditional acceptance and love.
She’s on to something.
P.S. Lady of house did the tilapia, FYI.
Deacon Tom preached from Isaiah 58 this noon, at the mid-day ashes service:
5 Is this the manner of fasting I wish, of keeping a day of penance: That a man bow his head like a reed, and lie in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? 6 This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; 7 Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.
Thus New American Bible.
I followed along with my King James Version:
5Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
6Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
NAB pedestrianizes it, to reach a new, I say lower, common denominator.
It gives up on the rhetorical questioning after verse 5, for one thing, and that lessens the impact.
Some phrases have the same effect:
5Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul?
5 Is this the manner of fasting I wish, of keeping a day of penance . . . ?
to loose the bands of wickedness
releasing those bound unjustly
that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
not turning your back on your own
Not good trade-offs, undue emphasis on the literal, the everyday.