Practical Fasting

With all that is going on in the world, I think it’s fair to ask what impact fasting can have. With the loss of life and ongoing persecution happening in Ukraine, it feels like futility. But we should persevere in our fasting and doing good. As the verse says, “do not weary in doing good”.

Every time we face a new world crisis, I feel powerless. And perhaps that is part of the grand plan. We recognize that we cannot control world events, or even the events that directly impact us. Not one of us knows how many breaths we have left. Yet we are required to continue to do good.

So we fast and pray and do what we can. It seems to have no impact, but a thousand drops of water compounded will make an ocean, so keep at it!

How do we fast?

In that light, I wanted to talk about fasting itself. I’ve come to recognize that the act of fasting also puts a strain on us as individuals. I joke about my youngest child that she is often “hangry”. Fasting is like a guaranteed one way ticket to hanger. We are guaranteed to be hangry.

The hard part is that it feels justified. Hey, I chose not to eat today because of my desire to impact the world, so everyone ought to acknowledge that. But the key is to understand that fasting is an act of service – it is about empathizing with the pain of another human being. So it is important that we do not use fasting as a license to allow ourselves greater leeway, but to intentionally be even more service oriented in this day.

The main thing..

So my friends, as we fast, we also pray. As we fast, we also serve. As we fast, we also consider those that are impacted around the world today. The focus is not on us, it is on the “other”, the wounded, the weary, the burdened.

So pray together with me today for Ukraine, for all those affected. Let’s focus less on what we need, what we deserve, and more on the other. And lest you ask, what can we do? We hear of refugees of this war. Let me remind you that refugees will be resettled around us. Reach out and understand how you can directly have an impact on those being resettled here.

You can do something! You CAN have an impact.

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