Fasting for Life

12 05 2007

“But this kind does not go out but by prayer and fasting.”
(Matthew 17:21)

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When we fast, we are intentionally relinquishing the first right given to the human family in the Garden—the right to eat. We say no to food because we are intent upon others receiving a far greater nourishment. We are committed to breaking every yoke and setting the captives free. Our fasting is a sign that nothing will stop us in our struggle in behalf of the broken and oppressed.

We are depriving ourselves for the sake of a greater good. Our fasting has weight with God and effect upon others…Our fasting is part of our wrestling with God. It is part of the birth pangs we endure in order to see new life come forth.

–Richard Foster
Prayer: Finding Your Heart’s True Home, p226





A Liturgy That Shapes Us

4 04 2007

“My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!”
(Galatians 4:19, ESV)

The operating biblical metaphor regarding worship is sacrifice. We bring ourselves to the altar and let God do to us what God will. We bring ourselves to the eucharistic table, entering into that communion.jpggrand fourfold shape of the liturgy that shapes us: taking, blessing, breaking, giving—the life of Jesus taken and blessed, broken and distributed; and that eucharistic life now shapes our lives as we give ourselves, Christ in us, to be taken, blessed, broken and distributed in lives of witness and service, justice and healing.

–Eugene Peterson





Only Through Brokenness

22 03 2007

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
(John 12:24, NASB)

There are some things that you cannot bring into being by making them, but only by breaking them. An omelet would be one. You don’t technically make an omelet, you break an omelet intobrokeneggs.jpg being. An oak tree is another. You don’t make an oak tree. An oak tree is broken into existence. As an acorn falls to the ground, it dies, is destroyed, and only then does life come. An oak is broken into being.

This is a spiritual pattern that holds true in all Christian experience. As British naturalist Charles Raven said, “We must be broken into life.”

There’s something else that you can’t technically make come into being but that must be broken into existence. It’s revival. No person can make revival happen; it has to be broken into existence. We must be broken into wholeness. That’s the biblical pattern. In God’s economy, wholeness only comes through brokenness.

–John A. Kitchen, taken from Chapter 2 of “Revival In The Rubble”, 2006





Heartsick

21 02 2007

“Seeing the people, he felt compassion for them…”
(Matthew 9:36)

It is a common expression in some Christian quarters to say, ‘I want to have the heart of God.’ The common meaning is, ‘I want to feel the love and compassion God has for all people.’ But to have the heart of God—if we really want that—means to feel the brokenness of God as He looks at His creation.

–Mark Galli
Jesus, Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God, p172