Last Sunday, 2/20, was the 7th Sunday in Epiphany, which is that church season in between Advent/Christmas and Lent. Next Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday, then Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. So technically, we are in a sort of an in-between time, both in our church seasons, and in our own congregation.
Dictionary.com offers one definition of 'epiphany' as "an appearance or manifestation." I also looked 'manifest' up - it means "to make clear or evident to the eye or the understanding; show plainly.
I think many receiving this email would agree that we at Peace Lutheran Church are ready for a breakthrough, for a manifestation of the dedication that the Call Committee has put in, ready that the Lord would make clear to the Pastor that He has chosen for our congregation that his Call is to Peace. One week from yesterday is Ash Wednesday, and next week, Pastor Martin and his wife will be visiting, in hopes of discerning whether our Call to him is the one he should answer, or if he should stay in his current congregation. (Visit details forthcoming!)
Lent is the season of the church year known for fasting - beginning with Ash Wednesday and lasting until Easter Sunday. I'm learning about different ways to fast, and different benefits of doing so. What I'm learning is that fasting can sometimes help bring about epiphanies to us in our faith walks, so maybe fasting is perfect during this transitional season, and during the long Call season that Peace is in.
So there are certainly many ways to fast, here's a short list, not meant to be comprehensive:
• forgo food and water for a time (Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness, though He was attended by angels)
• avoid a particular food or beverage for a time (giving up chocolate, soda, etc)
• only eating in certain windows of time (this could be as simple as only eating 3 meals without snacking, or doing intermittent fasting, where you choose to only eat, say, from 11am-6pm)
• I'm learning that one can also fast from social media, or away from having negative attitudes, or towards a character quality, and so fasting wouldn't necessarily even have to involve food at all.
One way to look at fasting is that each time you're thinking about the thing you're fasting from, to turn to prayer, and so increase the amount of time spent focusing in on the Lord, and the time spent in prayer.
Is anyone interested in participating in a group fast on behalf of our church family specifically? If so, please email Nicole at email@example.com and we can get connected to encourage each other.