I stumbled on this gem of a blog post by Kenneth Tanner on Patheos and had to share it. If you’re not doing too well during a Lenten fast, be encouraged:
“Perhaps you’ve tried to keep a fast this Lent? Perhaps you read somewhere that Lent is about “getting in touch with your guilt” but then you found–with good reason–that self-flagellation is not the healthiest or most effective motivation for spiritual practices.
My waitress at the local diner asked me this morning if I really wanted bacon with my eggs as it’s Friday (she knows I’m a pastor in the community). I told her, “I like to keep God guessing about my devotion.”
She knew that I was joking, and she also knew that I was grateful for her reminder, but I also was with a bunch of Christian brothers eating breakfast and it’s good for them, and for me, to remember that I am human and that Christ is the only one who is good, who is my righteousness.
If you are faltering in the Great Fast you are not alone but there is also really good news.
Fasting is not about changing God, whose love and regard for us are constant. We cannot do anything that changes God’s disposition toward us; we cannot leave anything undone that changes his heart, a sacred heart that is always ready to welcome us home.
Much less is fasting about adding anything to the life and activity of Christ in the flesh, a life that saves us and swallows up death. In his life for us, he took upon himself our fallen nature and the sin of the entire world—all of it.
And, while, I’m at it…Lent is not about “embracing our guilt.” It’s about recognizing that Christ alone can bear it.”