GOSPEL MEDITATIONS FOR
THE CONTEMPLATION OF GOD:
Gospel Meditations are both biblically and theologically intense and complex—they are not for everyone. For those who are beginners in the Faith, these might be difficult to grasp. The discipline of examining Scripture and internalizing it requires some spiritual maturity. So then, if at first the going is rough, keep at it and grow in your understanding of both the Bible and theology, while we ask the Holy Spirit to do a “deep” work in us.
So I invite us all to meditate upon, reflect on, contemplate, and consider afresh the Word and Work of our Triune God. Each Gospel meditation will center on a passage of Scripture, and a method of reflection will be outlined each week. Perhaps early in the morning we may rise up and seek Him, as David did, and rejoice at the wonder and beauty of God our Savior.
GOSPEL MEDITATION 20:
Matthew 6:16-18 & 9:14-17
"Why Might We Fast?"
6:16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
9:14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” (ESV)
1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
3. Say the Lord's Prayer.
4. Sing or chant the Jesus Prayer
5. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
6. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
7. Reread it.
8. From memory, determine the central points.
9. “Fast” means to cease from an activity, which here indicates eating and/or drinking.
10. Isaiah in chapter 58 speaks of true and false fasting.
11. Many fasted during the time of Jesus' ministry, but he and his disciples did not. It was as though they were celebrating as if at a wedding.
12. The disciples would later fast, or mourn, when Jesus was taken from them. In the same way we are "fasting," all the while looking forward to the "marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:7).
13. Our fast is to set aside normal activities for several purposes: one, to repent of our sin, which is a kind of mourning; two, to devote time to prayer and study of Scripture; three, to divert money that would have been used for food, etc. to be used for God's work instead.
14. And our own fasting must be private and discreet, bringing honor to God and not to us.
15. Be still now and ask yourself how you might fast.Last Update: 2015-04-24 13:46