The holy month of Ramadhan starts tomorrow where all Muslims will fast on food and water and anything sensual from sunrise to sundown. With this, the pastor gave a sermon on the Christian fast based on Matthew 6:16-18 focussing on these questions:
* Should Christians fast?
* Why do we fast?
* How should we fast?
Should Christians fast?
We should fast because Jesus expects us to. In Matt 6:18, he said, "and when you fast...", and not "and if you fast". So fasting is something we should do.
Why do we fast?
Matt 9:15 sets the reason for fasting.
And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridgegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast"
~ Matthew 9:15
We fast because the world and the Church misses Jesus. We deprive ourselves so that we will be satisfied with him.
How should we fast?
We see in Matt 6:16-18 that Jesus is not so concerned about how we do it but rather, how we should not do it.
The most important is that we do not fast to be seen by others, i.e. not to get admiration and praise or even to have others think well about us. It is not so much having to do it in secret and if found out, woe to us, but it has to do about having a right intention of fasting and even if others found out, it does not matter how they look at us.
It is to fast not to be seen by men but to be seen by God.
There are no rules and regulations to the Christian fasting - other than our intention - no set times, no set kind of food or things to fast from, etc.
What we need to fast on are the things that have a hold on us, on the delicacies of life, from our incessant nibblings of the world. And when we fast, we fill our "empty" spaces with the presence of God.
We fast to feed on God.