40 WAYS IN 40 DAYS LENT 2015
#10 Feasting and Fasting
Jesus Questioned About Fasting
18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”
19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”
Recently I’ve been trying out the 5:2 diet. I’m not usually into that kind of thing and I’m not really sure why I started it other than I just didn’t feel completely right – you know a bit tired and sluggish. But after the first week I was converted. The idea of eating what you want for 5 days and restricting what you eat the other two seemed to work for me.
Food is super important to me! It’s part of my identity as a mother, wife, teacher, chaplain, and a follower of Christ. So I was surprised how liberating it was to not eat. It made me realize how much the sub culture of food surrounds us at all times.
While I especially love the culture of food expressed in all corners of Melbourne I can also see a booming industry driven by supermarkets, celebrity chefs, reality tv, newspaper and magazines, restaurants and cafes and food blogs all telling us to spend more on food that will make our lives better. And yes a lot of the time food does make my life better!
But do you know what I discovered when I began fasting? A blanched bean from the garden became the most scrumptious food I had ever eaten! A boiled egg was such a satisfying meal. I was able to pull a frozen something out of the freezer for the kids for dinner and sit down and enjoy their company.
It was as if my foodie reset button had been pressed and I was rediscovering the simple things in life without the distraction of the Delicious magazine saying this month I must try this new ingredient or Urbanspoon luring me to another on trend eatery. Not to say on my non fasting days that I wasn’t trying out the fusion Korean Taco or scaling the Footscray Food Blog for more hidden gems. But through creating a rhythm in my week I definitely developed a practice of mindful eating.
So I appreciate the way Jesus challenges what was the done thing for the religious followers of his time and says wait a second there is a time for everything – of course my disciples aren’t fasting. Well not now anyhow. Makes me wonder how often we are aware of or even embrace the seasons and rhythms in our own lives. Jesus knew what was ahead and was slowly preparing his disciples but he was also making the most of the time he had with them.
The disciples didn’t need their spiritual reset button to be pressed just yet – they were hanging with Jesus! The time would come though when things wouldn’t feel completely right.
So this Lent I’ll be thinking about pressing my spiritual reset button. What will I give up, take up, become aware of and embrace in order to get back to basics with Jesus? How about you?
– CS, Newmarket Baptist