My pastor, my boss and my brother-in-law (all the same guy) has asked that our church staff observe Lent together this year. We will do it in preparation for Passion Week and the recognition of Jesus’ death burial and triumphant resurrection. We will also do it to take a page out of Jesus’ personal preparation manual. Jesus fasted forty days to prepare for His Earthly ministry. We at Fellowship have a new ministry to lead as we look to open a new, second church site in downtown Memphis. So, starting today, each of us on the Fellowship Memphis staff will implement fasts and particular abstinences for forty days leading up to Resurrection Sunday.
There are hundreds of ways to do this. The most common is a meat fast or skipping meals during daylight hours. I’ve been dieting since January so I felt the food fasts would not have the same impact on me spiritually because starving myself is old hat now. So I have decided to abstain from a few other things that will surely cause me to feel a since of longing and sacrifice and ultimately cause me to lean more heavily on God.
I have started by steering clear of purchasing new music. That may seem inconsequential to the average audiophile but I gravitate to new music like moths to a bug zapper. Sometimes I get zapped! It’s rarely enough for me to get the new albums, I have to be one of the first to review them. I almost hate to have a CD recommended to me. I feel like I’m out of touch in some childish way. I am not bragging as much as I’m confessing. I have hundreds of discs and downloads some of which I’ve only listen to once or twice, formulated an opinion on and moved on to the next record. Sometimes I’m content to say boastfully “I have that!” regarding an album that only has one palatable tune. So I will miss the much anticipated release of albums from U2, Gavin Degraw, Busta Rhymes, Mandisa, Ciara, Lionel Richie, New Found Glory, Static X and Chris Cornell. This will spare me from having to endure the sounds of former American Idol Taylor Hicks’ new album, sure to be blaring over Memphis record store speakers.
There are two other fasts I’m observing that I will post another day. To God be the Glory!