We tend to think of giving up things during Lent, but as early as the 8th century the Eastern Orthodox church celebrated Advent with a Nativity Fast. Those who observe the fast do so in order to approach Christmas as earnestly as possible.
Fasting is traditionally abstaining from food for a few hours of the day, a few days, or even weeks on end. It’s a discipline of the body, a refining of the soul, a mastery of the flesh. Most importantly, it’s fasting from food to remind ourselves to hunger and thirst for righteousness above all things.
This year, rethink the way you Christmas and fast.
There’s a lot of different fasts you could do, but I’d like to challenge you to fast from food from sun up to sun down, drinking only water. Try it for one day, today if you can, as we enter the last seven days before Christmas morning.
You won’t want to fast. You’ll think of all the reasons you can’t. But that’s exactly why you should fast. You can do more or less than a day, if you prefer. What’s most-important is to enter the last week of Christmas with a heightened hunger for the appearance of Righteousness.
When you prepare for Christmas like those who first prepared for His birth, you’ll know what it means to both hunger for, and be entirely filled with “good things” on Christmas morning.
He has filled the hungry with good things…
What does today’s reading tell you about people? (Yourself and others.)
What does today’s reading tell you about God?
How do these ideas change the way you Christmas this year?