full english [break] fast

4 03 2014

Believing we are born to consume cons u and me.

But the grasp of consumerism holds us tightly and its language permeates everything. Daily activities like shopping, eating and travelling become economic activities instead of human activities. We become a collection of financial transactions with selfish agendas in an economy, instead of humans beings with selfless relationships in a society. Our value is determined by the value of our transactions, not the value of our human life.

Those who are worth less are worthless.

So we end up in our almost comically caricatured society of the government considering it worth giving welfare payments to big business who are worth more, keeping them in profit, yet removing welfare payments from the poor who are worth less, keeping them in poverty.

 

Fasting breaks that. It turns consumerism on it head. I’ve never been a fan of fasting because of my inherited consumerist ideology. What does it achieve? What’s the point? What are the expected outcomes for me? It’s uncomfortable. I get a bit hungry, remember to pray, can’t think straight, but beyond that…?

This year I’m joining in the End Hunger Fast campaign, fasting on Ash Wednesday and April 4th. Why? Because what we do with our bodies stays in our minds. What do we need in our minds? That levels of hunger in this country are unacceptable. Fasting will give me a body memory of trying to do a normal day when hungry.

There, I’ve done it again. Needing an outcome. Let’s try again. Why fast?

Because Jesus knew it was a good idea. Because we need to do more things that are the right thing to do, not the efficient thing to do. Yes, we are standing in solidarity with the poor and hungry, of whom there are many in our community. Yes, we are joining in a national campaign lobbying the government against punitive sanctions on the poor. Yes, I believe we should not just provide foodbanks (social action), but solve the problem behind needing them (social justice).

But mostly because though there is no discernible consumerist outcome, it is the right thing to do. God does big things when we set time or money or food – basically, our needs and desires – aside. When we do something that is not intended to directly benefit ourselves. Something that is not an economic transaction but a spiritual discipline. It’s the opposite of consumerism. 

So, maybe God will do something big. And if he doesn’t? It’s still the right thing to do. It still matters. So let’s do it together. 

Why not join us?


For resources see End Hunger Fast
Trussell Trust

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