Throughout scripture, fasting is often taken on as a community practice, not an individual effort. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, fasts to mark observances such as Yom Kippur and Lent developed as shared experiences for a whole community, incorporating people from all walks of life. Fasting together can build a common purpose and spiritual power between disparate groups of people, something our world needs right now.
It would be powerful to fast with our entire congregation or class, but even if we can find only two or three others to fast with, with the intention of praying together as well, we will discover new things about privilege, independence, and connectedness.
Fasting is a time-honored practice that helps reframe the true priorities of a Christian life: not consumption but generosity; not satisfaction but hunger for justice; not greed but gratitude.
This message is excerpted from “The Spiritual Practice of Fasting” by Sarah Scherschligt in the February 2017 Cafe online magazine. Today we commemorate Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, 604.
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