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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Learning to fast

Our ability to feast depends on our learning to fast. But how do we do it? Essential, of course, is our desire to express our acknowledgement of wrongdoing or neglectbefore God—our penitence.

Then we prepare ourselves—which is, itself, part of the fast. Without it, we will come to our senses after the fifth hour and wonder just why it is that we are hungry. Then we’ll make a quick trip to the refrigerator. (And fail before we begin.) Fasting can be done either individually or in a group, and both have rewards. These steps will prove helpful.

• Pray for strength to resist eating (or whatever you are fasting from) and for insight concerning what is uppermost among your concerns.

• Set the terms of the fast. If you fast from food, you need to decide what to drink—fruit juice or water. If for medical reasons you can’t fast from food, consider fasting from something else, like watching television or shopping. You can still participate in a group that is fasting from food.

Perhaps you’ll want to choose to donate what would have been spent on food or other items to a hunger agency (Lutheran World Relief, Bread for the World and the Foods Resource Bank are good ones.)

Also, set the length of the fast.


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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