This Summer, our church is exploring spiritual disciplines in order that we might be nudged into a deeper faith and healthier lifestyle. This week we are focusing on the discipline of fasting (you can listen to the sermon or get the “Digging Deeper” questions here).
We live in a comfort driven society. In the last 7-8 years we’ve seen the service industry drastically change and bend toward increased convenience. You no longer have to sit through commercials (thanks Netflix and Hulu), have to drive yourself or call a taxi (thanks Uber), or even talk to another person while ordering food for delivery (thanks UberEATS and Doordash). You don’t have to write a letter or even pick up the phone to connect with friends on the other side of the world (thanks FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram). We’re finally living into the Burger King slogan from the late 80’s where you can get “your way, right away” with almost anything (thanks Amazon).
In a world like the one we’re experiencing today, we actually have to work to be inconvenienced. We have to choose to not take what Andy Crouch calls, “the easy everywhere solution.”
Fasting calls us to be uncomfortable. It is the conscious choice to abstain from the comforts and conveniences around us, with the expressed purpose of leaning into God. It awakens us to the realities of our communities that we might not see when living with all of the options around us. Richard Foster writes, “More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. This is a wonderful benefit to the true disciple who longs to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. We cover up what is inside us with food and other good things, but in fasting these things surface.” What controls you? What might you need to fast from this week?