Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Mark 2:18-22 (ESV) Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"  And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.  The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.  No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.  And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins." Fasting, I can’t say that I do it much. I have done it on occasion. It is a way of intensifying prayer and so on. And is not a bad thing to do, all though there are bad ways to approach it and do it. I do wonder about this though. Jesus didn’t fast, well except for the forty days being tempted in the desert. The Pharisees are all over him about it. John’s disciple’s fast, why don’t yours. John was all about fasting. He took the religious life to the extreme. Jesus on the other hand takes life as it comes. Can’t fast while the Bridegroom is around. We have to wait till he leaves. We follow that rhythm somewhat in the church year, we fast during lent, in the somber period of the year, chronicling his days to Jerusalem. Perhaps fasting ought to be more of a Pentecost thing though. We don’t fast during those times when Jesus is celebrated as being with us. Christmas just isn’t a time for fasting, neither is Easter. Christians don’t fast on Sundays. We celebrate the resurrection on those days. But it is Pentecost though is that time of the church, where we more or less commemorate the time we are living in right now. The time between his leaving and his return. This is the time Jesus talks about when he says that his disciples will fast.