Preparing for Lent

Fasting.jpgAs with Advent and even our Holy Week, ideas for a major seasonal shift like Lent can be difficult to come by. This year I want to focus on something simple. I’m going to focus on fasting one day each week. (By the way, I’m not convinced giving up chocolate or TV is a “fast.” Those sorts of denials are better called “abstinences.” Fasting is a response to something and entails giving up food or even all food and water for a designated period. It does not focus on getting something in return.)

Each week I want to focus on fasting as a response to sin — original sin and its effects — as I anticipate Good Friday and the glory of Easter.

And I invite you to prepare for Lent and to participate in Lent (as preparation for Holy Week) by taking a look at Fasting: The Ancient Practices
.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • David Neff

    My wife and I are trying something different this year. Instead of giving up chocolate or wine or something like that, we’re going to try to eat on a poverty budget throughout Lent. See my wife’s blog entries about the project beginning at http://livelydust.blogspot.com/2009/01/please-advise-us-on-our-lenten-plans.html . This is fasting in response to sin, I suppose, but the sin is a corporate one that lets people go hungry because we ignore them. Our hope is that we will make not just hunger, but the hungry visible to us.

  • RJS

    David,
    Fasting is often portrayed as a corporate (or individual) response to a corporate sin isn’t it? But it seems to me that the focus is repentance before God, not social action.
    It is an interesting idea though.

  • Eileen

    http://www.titus2menandwomen.org/Hope/ForBetterHealth/Fasting/2_FastingTheMedicalEffects/index.shtml
    I have type II diabetes and this web site was helpful. i may help others to address several medical issues that can be a factor in fasting.

  • Dianne P

    Another “must have” new book? Just when my amazon budget was starting to get under control. My husband’s idea of a lenten fast for me would be a book fast…
    I’ve appreciated a once a week fast – only I’ve broken mine with dinner. So, fasting from dinner one night until dinner the following night. And liquids throughout. For me, it’s deeply reminiscent of the lenten spirituality of my Eastern Catholic upbringing. The Good Friday fast also included quiet – not free from conversation, but free from radio or tv. Would that include the internet? Oh no, not that!
    Scot, hoping that you will blog on this throughout Lent. Would greatly appreciate your ongoing reflections on your experience with this practice.
    Thanks for the prod.

  • Eric

    Thanks, Eileen. I’m hypoglycemic, though, and I know that what that link describes would not work for me (I would pass out). Does anyone else have info re: how hypoglycemics can participate in some other form of fasting?
    Scot — does your book address these sorts of issues, which many of us have?

  • Dianne P

    Eric,
    A juice fast? But be careful with high sugar items like carrots or beets. Maybe watering it down, or adding some protein powder, might help.

  • http://www.englewoodreview.org/?p=224 Chris Smith

    The above link goes to the review that I wrote of Scot’s FASTING.
    An excellent book, I’m hoping a bunch of people from our church will read it during Lent.


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