A church that I very much like, run by people I very much like, here in DC, has women in the church on a “prayer and fast” Tuesday. The purpose of the fast is to pray for the nation, for their own spiritual lives, for good things. The women aren’t being called to a traditional 24-hour fast from food. They could give up whatever they wanted – it might be pasta or caffeine or whatever might be challenging to them. As one who very much believes in non-traditional fasts – from politics for instance – I like the idea.
The more I’ve thought about it, however, the more I wonder if this “prayer and fast Tuesday” isn’t fairly lame. I mean giving up pasta? Giving up coffee? Sure, that might be a challenge. But if it is a challenge, what does it say about us a people? I mean seriously, if giving up pasta is a challenge, who are we?
It might be the kind of baby steps necessary to set one on the path to greater holiness. But it also seems possible that it is a symptom of fat, lazy, happy, American Christianity – a Christianity that demands so little from us as to barely resemble the radical Christianity that Jesus preached and demanded.
I am FAR, FAR, FAR from immune here. I say this not out of judgment but out of empathy and and personal conviction and general observation. What does Jesus think about “his” churches?