I do not have to fast.
I do not have to give up one tiny morsel.
Fasting is not a rule I must keep to keep up with things.
Even Jesus defended his friends for not fasting.
Then the disciples of John came to him saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast but our disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn while the Bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
Here’s the thing, the absolute brilliant thing, about Jesus.
He goes to the heart of the matter.
Not bellies. Hearts.
He answers the question about fasting by inserting this crazy narrative about a wedding and a bridegroom.
Weddings and bridegrooms?
What do they have to do with fasting?
Everyone knows you don’t fast when there is about to be a feast.
Who is this bridegroom anyway and where is he going? Is he coming back?
So Jesus, you’re saying this is when we will fast?
Do we miss the bridegroom or something?
Like, really miss him?
Wait…the only one who would miss the bridegroom like this is a bride.
Who is she?
The bride is us.
When we fast for real, it just points to the deep hunger that is already there, beating in our hearts. Fasting is a reminder of what is real about us. What is real about God.
Therefore true fasting is longing and longing is waiting and waiting is believing.
There is no rule for this.
Too many sit at the banquet table of the gospel of Jesus Christ and merely nibble at the feast placed before them. They go through the motions – attending their meetings perhaps, glancing at scriptures, repeating familiar prayers – but their hearts are far away.– Joseph B. Wirthlin