A time to feast and a time to fast

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“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

In the church’s calendar there are but a few weeks between Christmas and Lent, between feasting and fasting. Aesteticism has no real value in the Christian life – if we can on occasions fast as unto the Lord, then Christmas is surely a time when we can quite legitimately feast as unto the Lord also. The Jewish tradition celebrates seven major feasts throughout the year and food played a major part in them all. Jesus celebrated the Jewish feast days so surely believers, who alone understand the true spiritual significance of Christmas, can celebrate this greatest of all feasts – when the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us – with a clear conscience.

 
As we celebrate the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us let us not focus on our own flesh, fretting over our body image and comparing ourselves with others. Rather let us rejoice as we focus on how Jesus’ incarnation demonstrates God’s great love for us all. As those without Christ get caught up seeking to express an individual’s worth through lavishing expensive gifts on each other let us remember that God’s unspeakable gift demonstrates the value of each and every one of us in His eyes, irrespective of what we look like, what we possess or what we may or may not have achieved.

 
And if this festive season affords us also time with family and friends then let us savour the precious time we have together. Let us feast with a clear conscience – not to over-indulge to the point of making ourselves ill or drunk, but as a lavish expression of the genuine joy and goodwill that floods our hearts because of Christmas Day.

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