Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lenten Devotional 08: Fasting in the Real Presence

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Scripture reading: Luke 4:1-30

In our Lenten journey, we remember our baptism in accordance with the word of the scriptures and the Word who is Christ; we live in God’s work of baptism and fasting with Christ, as we journey to the cross with Christ. Much like Holy Communion is the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ, Lent is the real presence of the Holy Spirit as we experience forty days of fasting.

Jesus was baptized by water and Spirit (3:21-22) and we are baptized in water and Spirit, by the work of God alone. Jesus lived incarnate – fully God and fully man – connected to the beginning of creation with the first human (Hb: adam; 3:23-38). Like Jesus, we are human (as C. S. Lewis would say, “Sons and Daughters of Adam”).

Our Lenten journey with Christ continues with forty days of fasting, we live in this by the Spirit and Word of Christ. In the wilderness for forty days, Christ is tempted by the devil; as the Spirit was with Christ, so the Spirit is with us. As Christ fasted in the wilderness for forty days, the people of Israel were in the wilderness famished and tested for a period of forty years (Lk. 4:1-4; Deut. 8:2-4, 29:5-6). We are not alone.

We fast (like we eat and drink in the Eucharist) in the Real Presence of Christ, our Lord. We are tempted and tested by the things of deception (as Christ was tempted by the devil and Israel was tested in the wilderness). We live in the Real Presence of Christ through history with the people of God, in the present through Word and Sacrament, and in the future return of Christ. We endure the wilderness and we fast remembering the work of our God, but we are not alone. This is the promise of the cross.

Lord, God, you’ve gone before us, your Spirit is with us, and you’ll return for us – this is resurrection’s hope that the work of God has been done, continues to be done, and will one day be fully revealed – you are the Lord, our God. Thanks be to God. In the name of the Holy and Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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