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Nov 17, 2019

180 On That Day They Will Fast A Guided Christian Meditation on Mark 2:18-20

I'm Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God. By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing. If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.
Bible verses for Meditation:

18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”
19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them.
20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.

18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
20 But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day

Meditation on Scripture:

Fasting is an ancient tradition. It is used the world over and has a deep tradition in Christianity. When Jesus was baptized he engaged in 40 day fast afterward. This is known as the temptation of Jesus. He suffered hunger and was tempted by Satan to give in to his body of flesh. He knew the appetites of the flesh. Many of the sins that we fall into in our lives are motivated by our human physical appetites. I think this is why fasting can be such a powerful spiritual tool. It helps us set aside even legitimate cravings for food as we learn to trust in the strength of the Lord.

If done with moderation, fasting can be a powerful way of brining our creature desires into perspective. I think God has asked people to fast for spiritual benefits. There are also health benefits to fasting that modern science is still catching up to understand but these are side effects not the main motivation. One thing that is clear from scripture is that fasting is very often coupled together in scripture with prayer. When we fast it should be as an act of religious devotion, not as a diet strategy. We can begin with prayer, pray throughout, and end with prayer.

In the great cosmos of God’s creations the clump of atoms that we put into our mouths does not change much. God is not impacted by us not eating, but we are. Our devotion can be focused inside ourselves as we become willing to give up our human desires. This month we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States and we are preparing to celebrate Christmas next month. As we eat from abundance may we also recognize that our human physical desires do not have to dictate what we eat. We can learn to discipline ourselves as we rejoice in the goodness of God to us.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.
Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:
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Final Question: Could fasting be a periodic part of your worship?

Final Thought: As you begin to celebrate abundance may you also consider those who do not experience such abundance. One practice we can get into is to use fasting as a way to increase our offerings. As we fast we can symbolically dedicate that food to the poor as well. In other words we can provide an offering of cash equal to what we would have eaten in the meals we skip during our fast. In this way we can bless others while also engaging in a powerful spiritual discipline. I suggest you engage wisdom and prudence as you consider your fasting practice also. Exerting our extreme will in either extreme of indulgence or deprivation can distract us from our goals of submitting our will to God.

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