The end of 2013 is upon us and the New Year awaits. Our culture has long looked to the new year as an opportunity to change, to grow, and to do things differently. For Christians, turning the page on the calendar represents another 365 days to work toward an even closer relationship with God through spiritual disciplines such as prayer, worship, and Bible study. Another practice we might consider is fasting. Fasting has a long and rich history in Christianity. And while we often associate fasting with abstaining from food and drink, a fast also could involve refraining from playing video games or watching television or shopping. LinC looks at the tradition of fasting and consider what fasts we might commit to in 2014. Key Scriptures: 2 Samuel 1:11-12; Isaiah 58:3-14; Matthew 6:16-18.
January 6 is Epiphany, the day on which we celebrate the arrival of the magi to visit the baby Jesus. We also refer to these visitors as wise men. In honor of these wise men, next week we’ll be talking about wisdom. Different people have different understandings of what is wise and what is foolish. In 1 Corinthians 1:20 Paul tells us that God has “made the wisdom of the world foolish.” Next week we’ll learn how God’s wisdom differs from “the wisdom of the world.”