The year was 2007. I was at seminary, studying Buddhism and other Asian faiths in my Engaging World Religions class. I had received an email from Rev. Janet Manuel from The Philippines. She had defended her thesis and made it home to her little girl after having studied in Seoul, Korea, many months. My China/Korea immersion group was planning a seminary chapel service. And I had just seen the movie Into Great Silence about the devotion of the monks at the French monastery that is believed to be the most ascetic in the world.
All of that took me back to my time in China and Korea. And I remembered that Korean Methodists take fasting and praying very seriously. During Holy Week, most Korean Methodists fast for three days, from Good Friday to Easter. Driving home from seminary, I thought about Lent being a season of reflection, and our preparation to receive God’s message of hope and gift of new life. That’s when God spoke to me, saying, “But you haven’t thoroughly prepared yourself yet. You’re not ready to savor the gift.”
I invite you to join me as I begin my three-day fast, beginning immediately after receiving the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday. If you’ve never fasted, or shouldn’t for medical reasons, consider limiting yourself from 6 PM Saturday until Easter morning. Then we can look forward to breaking our fasts together as we feast at the Lord’s table Easter morning. In the hours between, I will be drinking juices and water, worshiping, preparing, and praying for each of you as you make your personal journey from Jerusalem to Gethsemane to Golgotha to the tomb, and finally to the empty tomb and our risen Lord. Grace and peace … --Pastor Pat