5th SUNDAY OF LENT, SUNDAY OF 7th APRIL 2019
You are all most welcome for today’s services in Jesus’ name our Lord and Saviour.
Lent in the church calendar is a period of 40 days when we are fasting. Fasting in the Bible generally means going without food or drinks for a period while praying as Jesus did in Matthew 4:2. There is full fasting which means going without food/drinks at all while partial fasting means eating/drinking some and leaving others.
There is Individual fasting like in 2Samuel 12:22 for one person and Corporate fasting like in Judges 20:26, Jonah3:7, Joel 1:14 for many people like now in the lent season for all Christians.
The main reasons for fasting are, among others:
- Expression of grief 1samuel 31:13; 2Samuel 1:12
- Penitence: Daniel 9:3-4, Isaiah 7:6, Jonah 3:5-8
- Humble ourselves to the Lord Ezra 8:21; Psalms 69:10
- Securing the guidance of God 2Samuel 12:16-23, Exodus 34:28, Deut 9:9.
- Gaining learning from God Isaiah 58:3-4.
Therefore true fasting as reflected in Isaiah 58:6-12, Joel 1:12; Matthew 6:16-18 means doing these things among others: Set the oppressed free, loose the chains of injustice, break every weapon of suffering, sharing with the needy your resources, spending time in prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication (Intercession)) as well as visiting people and praying with them. Then God will answer your prayers and you will receive your reward.
However, fasting which is contrary to the above as evident in Isaiah 58:3-4 like showing off to the public, doing as you please, exploiting people, quarreling, strife and striking among others is wrong. Please note that you have already received your reward in full as in Matthew 6:16.
God bless you in this lent season as we fast and pray correctly so that God may answer our prayers accordingly.
Rev. Grace Lubaale
Home cell questions and personal reflection.
Read and reflect more on Isaiah 58:1-12, Matthew 6:16-18, Psalm 51:1-12, Joel 1:12 so that you distinguish true fasting from wrong fasting and make right choices accordingly.