Watch and pray . . .  and fast

Watch and pray . . . and fast

Fasting, like Lent itself, is foreign to the Reformed tradition. Calvin eschewed fasting since it was so rooted in Roman Church practices and had become mere ritual, he said – a stumbling block to real repentance and daily obedient living. Let your whole life be a “fast,” said Calvin, a sacrifice of service and thanks to God for his great salvation. Yes, on that last part! But I’ve come to believe he shouldn’t have ditched the baby with the bathwater in relation to fasting.

‘One little word shall fell him’

‘One little word shall fell him’

In the month since my last column about suffering, God has given me the chance to practice what I preach about trusting him in all circumstances. A virulent virus or bacteria or something – God can name it, if my doctor can’t – has laid me low. In winter climates that’s not shocking. I don’t mean this to be a complaint; countless people, surely some of you among CC’s readers, must endure far more than I.

‘Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him’

‘Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him’

The days God allots to us fragile creatures are “few, and full of trouble,” said Job. He certainly knew whereof he spoke! As time rolls on I’ve become ever more aware that each of us “springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.” That’s Job again (14:1-2). God gives each of us crosses to bear: physical, emotional, mental, relational; he requires that some of us suffer far more than others.