Rev. Marnie Rourke
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved. (Matthew 9:14-17)
Slow down, you move too fast! Earlier Jesus is criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners. Now he is being challenged because his disciples were not fasting while the Pharisees were fasting, wanting the Messiah to come set them free right now! The disciples weren’t fasting because their praying fingers were crossed, trusting that Jesus was the bridegroom who would soon save the world. Who knew their time for fasting would begin when the Last Supper was over? Or that it would feel like spiritual starvation standing beneath the Cross?
The crucifixion stops us dead in our tracks. Standing at the empty tomb makes us look back and wonder how everything happened so fast. When we stand at heaven’s gate looking back at our own journeys, we will see why it was that we didn’t have to move so fast. While we wait in faith, let us fast from busyness, slow down, and fast from worrying about tomorrow. Breathe. It is easier to eat less than it is to stop rushing through life. Fast, let go of the need to understand everything, and do it all. Make time to live in the moment, that the Holy Spirit may live in our hearts.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, take away our need to run too fast through life. Help us catch our breath, welcoming Christ’s peace. Remind us that Jesus has already won the race, and that we can always trust the future, because the future belongs to God. Amen.