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#9 Fasting (And Feasting) With Thanks

Summary:

Why do we fast? What can that teach us about food?

Questions:

As you watch the episode, consider:

1. Why do we fast?  Should we look at it as a requirement for receiving Holy Communion?  How should we rather look at fasting?

2. When Moses saw Israel worshipping the fatted calf in chapters 8 and 9 of Deuteronomy, what did he do upon walking back up the mountain again?  Why did he do this?

3. Similarly, in Luke Chapter 4, when Christ was being tempted in the desert by Satan, what was Christ doing?  Why do you think Satan approached Christ then?  What does this say about our lives, especially when we fast?

4. What does Saint Porphyrios say about the power of fasting in our spiritual lives?  What trap do we sometimes fall into when we fast, and what do we sometimes forget?

5. What does Elder Epiphanios, and many other figures of the Church, say about the difference between fasting and dieting?  What do we need to keep in mind?

Check out these model lesson plans / retreat sessions for JOY and GOYA!

Links:

And here are some articles you may find to be helpful:

1. Bible Gateway, Luke 4

2. Bible Gateway, Deuteronomy 8-9

3. Mystagogy, Saint Porphyrios on Ascetic Exercise

4. Mystagogy, Elder Epiphanios Answering Questions on Fasting

Script:

Hey everybody, this is Steve, and say bye-bye to burgers, fare-thee-well to franks and yiasou to gyros, because it's time for the Nativity fast. Syonara to sushi, ta-ta to Tater Tots.... I can go all day. Have you ever thought about why we fast? There are a bunch of reasons actually. My friend Nick covered a few in his Bible In a Year series, here, and here. One really important reason we fast, is because it helps us understand just how blessed we are. We don't fast because food is bad. Food is wonderful! It's a gift from God. But sometimes, when we're not being very beeish, we can take gifts for granted.

Did you know in the United States we throw away 40 percent of our food? That means we throw away almost as much as we eat! And there are about 870 million chronically undernourished people around the world. All the food waste here might be enough to feed them all. If we're wasting that much food are we thankful for it? Or are we taking it for granted? Fasting means avoiding the rich fruit we might be used to and eating more simply, and less. It means being a bit more hungry than we're used to and a bit less satisfied but still being thankful for every bite we get.

It's true, fasting can be difficult, but it's just a small taste what 870 million people around the world experience, not just for forty days, but every day. Sometimes we appreciate things only when they're gone. And in a country where we take food for granted so much maybe it's good that we have less of it for a few weeks. Maybe fasting will change the way we approach food the next time we feast. Maybe it will help us to eat with prayer in our hearts, giving thanks for all the good things that God has given us. So let's Be the Bee, and be thankful when we fast, so we can be thankful when we feast. Be the Bee, and Live Orthodoxy! Remember to Like and Subscribe! I'll see you all next week!

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