Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I've never fasted for Lent before, but lately I've felt a growing restlesness in my flesh that badly needs to be crucified. I've decided to do away with a few luxaries, and I hope that as my body cries out for these things, my spirit might cry out to God for discipline from him and delight in him.

I think it is a mistake to scornfully discard traditions like Lent while undiscrimately creating new 40 day journeys. That is not to discard the new curricula, but simply to encourage continuity of faith. While sadly, Lent has been corrupted over the ages (Mardi Gras being the cheif example, and legalism another), I think any period of corporate fasting is only good, especially one leading up Resurrection Sunday.

This poem was written by George Herbert and serves as a beautiful call to worship through fasting. Read it to the end, as it makes more sense as it goes along.


Welcome dear feast of Lent: who loves not thee,
He loves not Temperance, or Authority,
But is compos'd of passion.
The Scriptures bid us fast; the Church says, now:
Give to thy Mother, what thou wouldst allow
To ev'ry corporation

The humble soul compos'd of love and fear
Begins at home, and lays the burden there,
When doctrines disagree.
He says, in things which use hath justly got,
I am a scandal to the Church, and not
The Church is so to me.

True Christians should be glad of an occasion
To use their temperance, seeking no evasion,
When good is seasonable;
Unless Authority, which should increase
The obligation in us, make it less,
And Power itself disable

Besides the cleanness of sweet abstinence,
Quick thoughts and motions at a small expense,
A face not fearing light:
Whereas in fulness there are sluttish fumes,
Sour exhalations, and dishonest rheums,
Revenging the delight.

Then those same pendant profits, which the spring
And Easter intimate, enlarge the thing,
And goodness of the deed.
Neither ought other men's abuse of Lent
Spoil the good use; lest by that argument
We forfeit all our Creed.

It's ture, we cannot reach Christ's fortith day;
Yet to go part of that religious way
Is better than to rest:
We cannot reach our Saviour's purith;
Yet we are bid, Be holy ev'n as he.
In both let's do our best.

Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone,
Is much more sure to meet with him, than one
That travelleth by-ways:
Perhaps my God, though he be far before,
May turn and take me by the hand, and more:
May strengthen my decays.

Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast
By starving sin and taking such repast,
As may our faults control:
That ev'ry man may revel at his door,
Not in his parlour; banqueting the ppor,
And among those his soul.


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