On Fasting & Feasting

February 25, 2021 | Written by Molly Windle

For many, the observance of the season of Lent also means taking part in a season of fasting (to give up something) and feasting (something to add in).

Participating in a fast and/or feast during Lent is another way to grow closer to Jesus. Father Thomas McKenzie says this about fasting in his book, The Anglican Way:

“The purpose of these disciplines is not to punish ourselves for our sins. Jesus took all the punishment for us. Rather, the disciplines are meant to empty us so that the Lord may fill us. We are making ourselves available to Christ in hopes of growing our faith.” 


Below are a few thoughts and ideas to help you in your decision making about fasting and feasting during Lent. These questions and ideas are all adapted from Erin Moon’s Lent Guide, Memento Mori.

Fasting

What gives me comfort? Listen, I get it. I don’t want to give up my beloved daily Dr. Pepper. Or my coffee. Or my tea (why do I have so many comforting beverages?). But we’re giving up the good to pay more attention the greater.

Consider fasting from:
〰 that game on your phone
〰 coffee, tea, or that favorite beverage
〰 alcohol or French fries

What is a distraction? If you’re a part of the social media hamster wheel, maybe Lent is the perfect time to quiet that distraction in your brain and heart.

Consider fasting from:
〰 social media
〰 news feeds
〰 all those streaming services

What is unnecessary? I often find myself filling gaps of time or meeting my own needs immediately by impulse- buying or zoning out to The Office. It’s just filler and I could definitely be doing something with more intention.

Consider fasting from:
〰 unnecessary shopping
〰 mindless screen-watching
〰 purposeless scrolling

What would I feel the absence of? None of the things above are bad; it’s what we do with them that matters. What’s something that if you didn’t have it, or do it, you would miss?

Consider fasting from:
〰 negative thought patterns
〰 an hour of sleep
〰 music

Feasting

What makes me uncomfortable? What gets you out of your comfort zone in a healthy way?

Consider feasting on:
〰 volunteering
〰 striking up meaningful conversations with strangers
〰 actively disengaging from gossip

What makes me feel aware? What’s something that heightens your awareness to God working around you?

Consider feasting on:
〰 praying the prayer of Examen at the end of the day
〰 journaling
〰 daily scripture readings

What is necessary? Often the things that matter the least are at the mercy of the things that matter the most.

Consider feasting on:
〰 purposeful time with your family
〰 reading spiritual books
〰 encouraging words to others

What kind of life do I want to cultivate? Can Lent be a training ground for a life change you want to make? Why not?

Consider feasting on:
〰 intentional patience
〰 establish a habit of listening
〰 memorize scripture


Find even more ways to engage in the season of Lent by checking out our Lenten Experience Guide!

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