(You will want to make sure you watch the short video at the bottom)
"Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, 'Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?' And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day." - Mark 2:18-20
The question about fasting prompted two answers;
1. The kingdom of God, Jesus pointed out, is like a wedding party, not a funeral wake. It's inappropriate to fast in the presence of such joy. All Jews understood the "free pass" on religious obligations when attending a wedding: whatever routines, rituals and spiritual disciplines you might normally practice are abandoned, so important is the joy of a wedding. Jesus tells the people that he is the bridegroom and it is time to CELEBRATE! So when Jesus was on earth it would have been inappropriate to fast!
2. BUT "the days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away, and then they (you, me and all disciples of Jesus) will fast in that day." We live in the days that Jesus refers to. How do we practice fasting? Maybe it would be better to say how not to fast; 1) We do not fast as an attempt achieve eternal life or think that God will favor us more than others; 2) We do not fast simply to conform to external rules; 3) We do not fast feeling that it sets us apart from and above others! Let me know if you want some resources on fasting and I will make sure to get them to you.
BUT BACK TO THE WEDDING that Jesus speaks about! At the heart of the wedding is the LOVE of God who created us to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves! This morning I am grateful for 3 expressions of that love;
1. MOTHER'S DAY! It could be said that your very first neighbor was your Mother. Have you taken time to give thanks to God for your Mother? Today my Mother will receive some flowers with a note; "Everyday I thank God for the 59 years of love that you have shown me! Thank you for your daily prayers and Happy Mother's Day!" A Mother's Day brunch will be served by the Mission Mexico team this Sunday at Central. Plan on coming between 9:00 - 11:00AM for a sit-down, order from the menu breakfast to honor Mothers.
2. MISSION MADNESS is Sunday, May 20 from 1:00 - 5:00PM. This is a great way to show our love for our neighbors in the community. Visit www.clcelkriver.org and sign up to serve or sign up this Sunday at Central. There are numerous projects that need to be accomplished in our community as we share Christ's love.
3. Lastly, I encourage you to take a few minutes watch an amazing story of the love of Jesus Christ that is shared in our human relationships. When Jesus speaks of the wedding he understood the love of Ian and Larissa. This short video is a remarkable witness to the love of God that is not dependent upon everything working out the way we hoped. Regardless of what happens to you - in good times and bad, sickness and health, riches and poverty - the love of Christ is what life is all about. Watch the video and pass it on to encourage as many people as possible to know and share Christ's love;
Have a blessed Saturday and see you on Sunday!