The Lenten Feast
There are differing opinions on how the forty days of lent should be observed. Potentially, you may think of lent as forty straight days of penance and fasting. Although this was how I began my journey in lent it isn't where I find myself today. My practice has evolved over the past number of years. Currently I spend six days per week fasting and praying in a posture of repentance and one day per week I spend feasting. Today, Sunday, is a feast day. What that means is that I am not held by my fast on this day. I am free to take in all that I am fasting in a holy and reverent manner. What I have come to realize though is that this feast day is not about me and my comfort. I do not get a break from fasting and penance because it's too difficult or because it would be unholy to fast for forty straight days. Instead Sunday's are considered a feast day because it is about feasting upon Christ.
Sunday is a day that we focus upon the fullness of Christ's glorious gospel. The day we look and see the wonderful resurrection of our Lord and we celebrate all that he has done for us. It is a holy day. In history past and present many Christians have seen Sunday's as both the first and eighth day of the week.
It is the first day because it is when new life springs up. So, in the same way that Christ was raised from the dead signifying the new life for all creation, we too recieve new life. Today we are filled with the fullness of Christ through the receiving of his body and blood at the Table. It is there that we feast.
It is the eighth day because it is holy and miraculous. It is the day of new covenant. In the same way the covenant was sealed upon a baby boy on his eighth day of life in the Old Covenant so too do we receive the blood of the covenant on the eighth day after we have received new life.
It is on this day. The holy day. The first and the eighth day that I feast on Christ. So I do not gorge myself on the food that I am fasting during the week. I don't spend my whole day consuming and idolizing all that Christ has called us to fast through lent. In fact this day of feasting is not about the regaining of my comforts again at all.
Today I feast on our Lord as he has called me to. I feast upon his blessed body and blood at the table. I feast upon his blessed gospel in the scriptures and upon his blessed presence in worship through the gift of the Holy Spirit that he has poured out on us. Today is a miraculous day.
What a blessed feast day.