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Lent Days and Fasting

By

Mathew G, Daniel Nedumkandathil, Manjinikara

 

As there is a beginning of time The Bible tells us that there will be an end of time. At the end of time comes the two fold Eternity.

                    Life in the Light of the Lamp of the Lamb in the Heaven

     Eternal           

                    Death in the darkness of Devil in the hell

We live in between the beginning and end of time, because we donít know when time will end. The day on which we have been implanted in our motherís womb by the will of God, is our beginning. We are not aware of the date till some signs and confirmations.

There is a beginning of time in the Bible;

Gen : 1: 3- 5 And God said let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light the day and the darkness he the night. And the evening and the morning were, the first day.

This beginning will continue by the word (2 Pet. 3 : 5-7)of God for a time which is not revealed to man. But In the Holy book it is confirmed at various stages.

Letís see some of it;

Isaiah 13 : 10 For the stars of haven and the constellations there of shall not give their light. The Sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Joel 2 : 31 The Sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.

Mat 24 : 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened and, the moon shall not give her light., and the stars shall fell from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken.

As we had discussed earlier we saw that the world has to undergo an end also. which means end of the time and at the end of the time it shall be Eternity.

So here we must understand one thing, that is we human beings are supposed to exceed through three stages in our life.

Stage 1                           Stage 2                               Stage 3  


Stage : 1

This is in the womb were we have to stay in for a stipulated period of plus minus 280 days,

Psalms 40 : 7- 8 Then I said, behold I come: in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do your will, O My God and Your law is written in hearts ď


Surely this is a prophecy on the human incarnation of Jesus. See also;

Heb 10:7 Then I said Ď Behold, I have come- in the volume of the Book it is written of Me- to do Your will O, God.

Both these references points out one thing that is the purpose of taking birth upon the earth is to do His will.

Lets see the first reference in the Scroll of the book it is written of me.

Psalms 139 :16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there where none of them.

That means there is a specific objective for each human birth. We have certain examples in the Bible itself.

Luke 1:16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.

This prophecy is about the birth of John the Baptist.

The Birth of Moses was for the Liberation of Godís people from the bondage of Egypt.

God gives a body suitable for the purpose of his birth. This stage gets completed in the womb of the mother and it takes 280 days inside another body.

The Zygote undergoes a lot of complicated physical as well as chemical process with in the body of the mother which is seen and directed by God.

Psalms 139:15 My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret and skilfully wrought in the lowest part of the Earth.

Psalms 139:13 For you formed my inward parts, you covered me in my motherís womb.

So, Neither the Parents nor the offspring has any role in the first stage of our life, A woman get conceived on the desire of the heaven, and the infant comes out of the mother on the will of God only.

Psalms 22:9-10 But you are He who took me out of the womb; you made me trust while on my mothers breasts. I was cast upon you from birth, from my motherís womb you are my God.

So, it is evident that in the first stage the parents have to pray and read the Psalms and other Hymns. One thing is sure that when God looks for a womb for a person for his work upon this earth surely he will prefer a virgin who has the righteousness before him. The thing is that each couple should remain ready to be called for to carry out his mission.

As we have seen earlier, In this stage we have nothing to do except to wait for the arms of the Lord to bring us out into the bosom of our mother and into the world

Stage : 2

This is the life in the form of man which is the resemblance of God Himself. (Gen.1:27) upon the Earth. The period or duration of life is limited to 120 years, but the David says;

Psalms 90:10 But the days of our life is Seventy years, and if by reason years by strength, they are 80 years.

This stage I again sub classify into infancy, boyhood, teen, youth, middle age etc. all these stages have its own significance and troubles as well as pleasures..

Through Baptism the name of the child gets written in the Book of Life, simultaneously it becomes reborn in spirit. At the very same moment the body becomes the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 3:16 )

Once we are born again we have to abide by the commandments of the God, for we become the children of God. Since the body is taken from earthly materials it will react to the properties of the various elements. As a result of it we begin to undergo metabolism. These metabolic activities tends us to act according to the flesh which in turn becomes sin. This is the reason why Jesus advised his disciples to Watch and Pray in the garden of Gethsemane.

Mat 26:41 Watch and Pray, lest you enter into temptation, the Spirit itself is willing but the flesh is weak.

This becomes an important thing to note. We shall not enter into temptation which is the main concern. What happens if we do fail to overcome temptation. The clear evidence is seen in

Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat and gave also unto her husband with her and he did eat.

Thus they disobeyed the words of the Lord and died as commanded. This disobedience is otherwise called as sin. This is the reason why St. Paul says that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:22)

As we discussed in the Introduction, at the end is eternity. This eternity is two folded such as Eternal Life or Eternal Death. Or in other words eternal Light with the Lamb in the Heaven or eternal Darkness with the devil in the hell.

What decides the criterion, according to St. Paul ;

2 Cor.5:10 For we must all appear before the Judgement seat of Christ ; that everyone may received the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

So, it is our activity while we are in body is going to be judged to decide our ultimate destiny. But as Jesus warned his disciples at the Gethsemane the body is weak, and the weakness of the body is the catalyst for sin. Those weakness that harm us is already notified to us by St. Paul in his letter to Galatians.

Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these :

  • Adultery

  • Fornication

  • Uncleanness

  • Lasciviousness

  • Idolatry

  • Witchcraft

  • Hatred

  • Variance

  • Emulations

  • Wrath

  • Strife

  • Seditions

  • Heresies

  • Envying

  • Murders

  • Drunkenness

  • Revelling

As in have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.

All these actions are the activities of the body which are fine examples for sins. In the due course of life upon the Earth we are sure to fell into some of such sinful acts. These are the exhibitions of our weakness.

We live in a world of snares or traps of temptation. He even tried the Son of God in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting. That is why St. Peter also warns us

1 Pet 5:8 Be sober, Be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.

The way to overcome temptation is taught by the one who overcame him told us to Watch and Pray.

We are accountable for each and every thoughts and deeds in this stage. Moreover these deeds are the deciding factors of the third stage.

Stage : 3

The first stage was a change of dwelling from the womb of the mother to an independent world and the third stage begins as the soul leaves the body. The life in this stage is eternity with same body (resurrected) which got decayed in the grave.

So, in between the two stages the soul has a period to rest in peace, in the bosom of Abraham in the case of a person who died in Christ, or else a wandering ghost in the Hades for a sinner.

As the time of the world ends the time of waiting also ends :

1 Thes 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we over be the Lord.

Jesus also promised this rapture during his mission of the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

His elects are the righteous people means who lives with out sins and do his will when we are in our flesh and body.

Unfortunately, since being man we may fail occasionally and fall into the traps of the devil, and we become sinners.

Remedial Measures to abstain from sin

Fasting is a fine weapon against the devil and sin. For, during this time we are with the God.

Det 9 : 9 When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone Ö..I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water.

There Moses was along with God for 40 days, a person before the Almighty shall not deviate his attention from his countenance. In that case we wonít be able to spare some time for our food or drinks.

Fasting is to be with God, at that time we hold Jesus with one hand and give away worldly pleasures with the other hand.

As we pray to keep us away from sin we have to prepare ourselves to be ready for Him to act within us. For this preparation - since our flesh is weak - we discipline our flesh through Lent days. By overcoming our will to abstain from the delicious food we practice to overcome the foul thoughts of our body, which ultimately help us to overcome temptation.

The word lent has a meaning that is the season Spring. This season is the most attractive of all seasons with full of flowers and natural beauty. So after the Lent through the resurrection of Jesus we also overcome death along with Him. That means eternal life in the heaven with Jesus. How does it happen :

Rom 8:11 But if the spirit of him that raised up from the dead dwell in you, he that raised Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by spirit that dwelth in you.

So it is obvious that if we want to get resurrected the Spirit of the Lord must dwell in us. Our sins allows devil to dwell in us in the place of the Holy Spirit. Here comes the significance of Lent and Fasting it forces out the devil from us with the help of Jesus and we get our heart purified as requested by David in his confession.

Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

God expects fruit from us and if we fail to produce good fruits we shall be removed from the earth.

Luke 13 : 7-9 The Master was looking for fruits for three years in a fig tree in vain, so orders the servant to cut it down. ď And he answering said unto him, Lord let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it and if it bear fruit well, If not then after that though shall cut it down.Ē

We are being dug and dunged and watered by the Church during these Lent days, and we are obliged to bear fruits. I would like to conclude this short message with a reference to a clear statement of Jesus.


John 15:5 I am the vine you are branches, he that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

To abide in Him means to be away from sins, and the best way to overcome sin through temptation is Lent and Fasting.

Finally, letís see a prayer by P.B.Shelly in his most famous poem Ď Ode to The West WindĒ Ď

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth

In the poem Shelley compares the west wind as a destroyer as well as a preserver. He says that the mighty wind carries away all the dead leaves and other decaying vegetations, but along with these it carries winged seeds also. Winged seeds means light and feathered seeds get scattered from the plant to different parts of the earth. Thus it is a preserver also.


The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?


Shelly requests the wind to Drive away the dead thoughts from his mind as it carries away the withered leaves, for a rebirth.

The wind blows the trumpet of prophecy, that is, it is sure that winter is followed by Spring.

Yes, my brethren the dry days of the great Lent carries away the dead thoughts and Easter is sure to come when my God and Lord resurrects from the dead conquering death for me to have eternal life in the Heaven in the Light of the Lamp from the Lamb.

Regards,

14 March 2011

 


 

 

 

 

 

 
       
       
       
 

 

 

 
       
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
   
       
       
 
   

 

   

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