Week 4: Fasting from Sweets and Caffeine
March 16th – March 22nd
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus laid out the path to deeper spiritual formation that the church has historically used to guide its Lenten practice; turning away from self through fasting, turning toward God in prayer, and turning toward our neighbors in service (Matthew 6:1-18).
“Linking the spiritual discipline of self-examination to the physical practice of self-denial honors the way God has created us as physical beings. Taking our cues from Jesus and his 40 days of fasting in the desert, we fast in order to experience both vulnerability and temptation. In doing so, we physically experience the reality that people do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). And it is when we are stripped of our comforts and ease that we can clear space in our souls to fill again with the presence and word of God.” (NT Wright, Lent for Everyone)
During Lent, we recommend joining with us in giving up things that we often turn to for comfort. So far we’ve fasted from food, television, and social media, and this coming week we will abstain from sweets and caffeine. These are not “bad” things; rather they are all potential comforts and possible distractions that can take the place of God in our lives or keep us from the whole-hearted pursuit Jesus. Use this time and space and disruption for self-examination and meditation on who God is and what He has done.
Devotional Thought: Read 1st John 4 every day this week. Use these questions to help process what God is saying:
- What do these passages of Scripture reveal about the nature and character of Christ?
- What do these passages reveal about your own heart?