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Fasting is more than abstaining from food – Morrison

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 12:10 AM
Morrison
Morrison

The divine commitment of fasting among Christians involves the popular abstinence from food, amplified prayer sessions and greater time spent reading the Word of God.

Though it is a sacred practice throughout the year, churches participate in more pointed fasting services during the Lenten season, especially around Easter time.

Admitting to the importance of the religious observance and the various aspects of dedication that it entails, pastor at the Fellowship Tabernacle church in Portmore, Courtney Morrison, noted that abstinence and prayer are part of a true fast.

“During the time of fasting, there are three things that must be done, according to Isaiah 58, and those are giving food to the hungry, clothes to those who are naked and giving the homeless somewhere to stay.

BREAK OPPRESSION

“Fasting should break the chain of oppression and depression, that is, setting captives free, so it’s not about just yourself when you are fasting but how you treat others.

“Isaiah 58 speaks about afflicting your body by not eating food if you’re not walking in the tenets of actually feeding those who are ­hungry, helping the homeless and clothing the naked.

“I tell everybody at church that if they’re fasting on a day when they’d normally buy lunch, then still buy the lunch and give it to somebody who couldn’t afford it or needed lunch for the day,” he shared, adding that the Word declares that this is how true fasting should be done.

Pastor Morrison continued by saying that the rewards of a fast will not be seen unless the commitment is made properly.

According to him, “If during that time, you’re not repairing family relationships, rebuilding wastelands and so on, then none of the results of a true fast will ever become visible for you. One of the results of a true fast is that you look like a well-watered garden, your bones shall become fat … . The scripture says you shall call on the Lord, and He shall say, ‘Here I am.’

“They say a lot of people don’t fast because they are sick, but the scripture tells you that when you do a true fast, then your health will spring forth.”

Morrison added: “There are a number of persons who have been abstaining from food … . Yes, it’s a fast, but according to the scriptures, if we want to ensure that we are inculcating the character of Jesus Christ in our life, then it’s about feeding those who are hungry and clothing those who are naked, breaking the chains of oppression over your own life so that you can help others. But unless you break the chains that are over your own life, then helping others won’t happen, so abstaining from food only becomes just a diet and not a fast.”