Fasting for United Methodists

UMC.org has a short article on what the UMC says about fasting. I’m not sure that fasting for spiritual reasons is practiced much among United Methodist laity. I’m not sure it is practiced much among the clergy either. Here is a section from UMC.org:

Fasting has been a part of Methodism from it’s early beginnings. John Wesley considered fasting an important part of a Christian’s life and he personally fasted weekly. To Wesley, fasting was an important way to express sorrow for sin and penitence for overindulgence in eating and drinking. He believed it allowed more time for prayer and was more meaningful if combined with giving to the poor. Wesley did advise caution against extreme fasting and against fasting for those in fragile health.

via What does The United Methodist Church say about fasting? – UMC.org.

If your health permits I do recommend fasting for a few reasons: 1) It is biblical, 2) it is part of a Wesleyan tradition, 3) it is part of our Christian tradition, and 4) it teaches us to say no to our desires. I’m sure I could come up with a few more reasons.

Wesley practiced fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays. Later in life he just fasted on Fridays. Whatever day you choose, make sure to keep in mind that the fast is “unto the Lord.” Fasting is not some merit badge. If we fast for any other reason than to seek God then our fast is misguided.

For most of us, food is readily available. Fasting can be a powerful practice within a culture that focuses on the fulfillment (even immediate fulfillment) of desires, nutritional or otherwise. 

Embracing our theology

Listening to Adam Hamilton caused me to realize that as United Methodists we need to embrace our theology. It is one that connects the head and the heart. Hopefully I can post more later.

— Post From My iPhone

Movie Based on Wesley to hit Theaters in 2008

 

I’m not sure when this movie is coming out, but I know I will go to see it. It is being released by an Independent film company, so I don’t know how good the production will be. They say the movie is going to closely follow Wesley’s life. If that is the case, I’m sure the story will be interesting at least. I mean, after all, his life was pretty amazing (at least in my opinion). The Foundery Pictures website gives a bit more insight, so you can go there for more information, although they don’t list the date it will be released.