I am not writing about this experience to lift it up for myself. I am writing about it to share the unique and excited experience I have recently had in my spiritual life.
Hubs and I had an experience this week that was exciting and new for both of us. Our church recently asked the body to participate in fasting as a congregation as a day to focus and pray for Easter. Our church combines all 3 of their locations, total of 7 services into 1! It's held at the Erwin Center, which is where the University of Texas plays basketball. Last year was our first Easter service since making this our home church, we were amazed to get to be apart of something so big, that reached so many people in the community. Somewhere around 13,000 people attended. This year we took this day to pray for the people who would attend, God's word to be spoken and absorbed, and for God to be in control of all of it.
"Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time." according to Wikipedia that is...
Starting on Wednesday night after supper, we abstained from foods until dinner on Thursday night when we broke the fast with our Missional Community and communion.
So the scriptures have a few things to say about fasting, oh course since that's where the concept comes from.
I had to spend the day at work, and truth be told I was hungry. My stomach growled...and I tried to use it as a reminder to pray. Hubs was off of work and was able to spend much of the afternoon in the scriptures. He had time to read, pray and think. He wrote the following, I look at it as a personal statement of faith. I was so wowed when he read it to me, I asked if I could share it on the blog and he said yes! So here it is per the hubs....
"This is what I believe to be true. The world has a creator. It’s created and allowed to change for all of us. We are allowed to change also. We are allowed to attain more information. In knowledge attainment we often forget that all is unknowable. Our collective intelligence as humans does not understand very much. Compare birds to planes, antibiotics to our own innate and acquired immunity, paintings to the sky, C3PO to single cell organisms or Polar Bears. I digress…
I believe the creator had an intimate relationship with the first person. I believe that something caused that first person to reject obedience and the world was allowed to move forward in free will. It’s a difficult subject and entire lifetimes are spent attaining the details. I believe the creator allowed for free will so that we choose Him freely. He’s awesome and terrible. How do I mean? He allows for ultimate Shalom peace in Heaven worshiping him without want of sin or anything material…happy. He allows for eternal damnation, pain and suffering. I believe even if we are “saved” we will be judged and held accountable for every sin. Ughh.
Who is this? In short, it’s the God of the Jews…the people who authored the Torah; Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the prophets, 300 years of Kings, a story of continued teaching, struggle and falling away…which resulted in the coming of God in human form to Earth as part man part God. Jesus was miraculously born of a virgin. Thereby, Jesus began without sin. He is the perfect substitution for the original man, Adam, whom Moses taught disobeyed God. Up until 2 thousand years ago, animal sacrifices had been offered as sacrifices in an attempt to redeem Jews to God to for their sinfulness. Jesus arrives sinless destined to be the ultimate (Lion and the…) lamb or sacrifice.
Jesus taught the scribes and keepers of the Religion mostly what they had been doing wrong. It was like they had the book but now the author shows up and explains a completely different paradigm. Our nature is to resist and that’s just what the Jews did. He placed his knowledge in the hands of regular people of his choosing…we know these as the 12 apostles. In the Gospels of Jesus, He acknowledges early on his intended persecution and what will happen to him, but the world was receiving a gift from God. It was going to be much more than teaching Jews they were hypocrites. Jesus God was about to absorb the undeserved pain, humiliation, suffering and disgusting death of the most vile of humanity; The only sinless man was to be executed in hours long suffering. Jesus, however, was doing this for humanity. I believe He knew we were incapable of saving ourselves. Thousands of years of Jewish history proved that. Despite “hands on” caring, the Jews wandered. Humans don’t have a chance. I believe Jesus showed up to stand in for the terrible suffering planned for us. Jesus God stepped in to absorb our punishment so that we didn’t have to know it.
What does that mean for me now? There are a lot of details unresolved but I said in the beginning…we can’t know it all. I know if there is no God then it doesn’t make a difference if we are ultimately bad (Hitler) or Good (Ghandi). It makes no difference. I choose to believe in the God that has a perfect story from the beginning of time to the furthest reaches of eternity. I digress. I believe I should try and know God…read the bible and pray alone and with others. I believe I should hold strongly to that which I can ascertain as right and try with all my power (which I will fail occasionally) to avoid doing that which is wrong. I thank God Jesus for helping me, redeeming me and caring about my eternity. I also believe I should share God with whoever will listen."
What are your thoughts on prayer and fasting? Do you have a personal experience with it? Pin It