Thursday, January 14, 2010
The theme for the third week of our Series presented a challenge for L'Art: how to visually depict the absence of something? An empty plate conveys scarcity, not the fulfillment and enlightenment achieved through faithful fasting. We decided to expand our thoughts on fasting. Traditionally, we think of fasting as going without food, but isn't the point of fasting to give something up in order to focus more on God and what God would set as your priorities?
Our immediate community and congregation is blessed to be relatively well-off, and we are a community that is very busy - busy with work, home, family, friends. No one seems to have enough time, and to give up "free" time would be a greater sacrifice for many of us than giving up a meal.
So, for many in our demographic group, to volunteer one's time serves as a sort of a fast. L'Art decided to display photographs of some of our members performing various mission and service works.
As we hear in Isaiah 58:
Is not this the fast that I choose?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless into your house;
when you see the naked to cover them?
Fasting, whether it involves giving up food or your time in service to others, is a spiritual practice of self discipline that helps you to remember and to prioritize God. It can be an act of purification, repentance, rejoicing, and communing. It is an ancient tradition that can still be a meaningful practice today.