According to author Lynne M. Baab, we live in hungry times. Ours is a consumer culture, predisposed to quickly fill the cravings of body and mind. The idea of fasting–the voluntary denial of something for a specific time, for a spiritual purpose–sets us immediately on edge. But Lynne Baab makes the case that can fast.
Fasting is an expression of freedom. Free from the patterns and habits that mark everyday life, from time to time we can move beyond our appetites into meaningful encounter with God.
In you’ll discover an ancient Christian practice that extends beyond giving up food to any regular activity in our contemporary lives. You’ll see how taking a break from eating–or driving, or checking e-mail, or watching television–opens us up to discover new things about ourselves and God and the world around us. You’ll see that while not everyone should forgo food, anyone can step out of routine to feed the soul.
In a time of great spiritual hunger, God invites us all to a feast: fellowship with the Creator of the universe, where all our truest needs are identified and attended to.
One refreshing aspect of the book is its broad understanding of what constitutes a fast, which can range from a full abstinence from food and water to a more limited avoidance of one or more types of foods for a set period of time. Beyond that, however, Baab considers other kinds of fasts that Christians can undertake: refraining from shopping, elaborate clothing, jewelry, television or anything that they have made into an idol.
Fasting, she says, calls Christians into closer communion with God by creating time for spiritual discernment, adding greater urgency to prayer and encouraging solidarity with the poor. Baab traces the practice of fasting through the Bible and the Christian church, with an ecumenical openness that embraces Orthodox and Catholic practices as well as her own Protestant traditions.
One particularly welcome chapter explores the idea of fasting in community, introducing practices like the round-robin fast and fasting with one or two partners. This excellent resource will help novice Christians dip into the ancient practice of fasting and more seasoned practitioners become more creative and intentional in its observance.
Author: Lynne M. Baab
Year of Release: 2006