Thoughts on Advent (and all holidays) as a fast and a feast:
Last, and to push this thought one step further, if we are going to celebrate seasons like Advent and Lent, we ought to do so by keeping the Lord’s Day as our standard. This means that all fasting is always forfeasting. We eat no bread so that we might feast on the Word that is our bread of life. We abstain from various activities so that we might feast in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We refrain from doing the ordinary so that we might give ourselves to those in need, the lonely, and the outcast and rejoice with them and feast – which is the true fast! (Is. 58:6-8) Even extreme, penitential fasting (e.g. Jonah 2:5-10) is for the purpose of seeking salvation in the Lord, our only source of life and health and strength. And when God hears and relents from promised judgment, our response is joyous feasting. All this is to say that large heapings of thankfulness and joy go a long way to make all of this possible, and this brings us back to the Lord’s Day, back to our Feast of Thanksgiving, back to what we get to do. We are not slaves to days or diets; we are free lords of the Sabbath, free to decorate the world with our Savior’s trophies. Celebrated rightly, Advent and Lent can fit easily into our calendar of feasts.
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