Friday July 5th: A call to discipleship
July 5, 2024
Sunday July 7th: Rejected by his own
July 7, 2024

Saturday July 6th: A time to rejoice and a time to mourn

“Then John’s disciples came to him and said, “Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?”

Matthew 9:14-17

Which comes first, fasting or feasting? The disciples of John the Baptist were upset with Jesus’ disciples because they did not fast. Fasting was one of the three most important religious duties, along with prayer and almsgiving. Jesus gave a simple explanation. There’s a time for fasting and a time for feasting (or celebrating). To walk as a disciple with Jesus is to experience a whole new joy of relationship akin to the joy of the wedding party in celebrating with the groom and bride their wedding bliss.

But there also comes a time when the Lord’s disciples must bear the cross of affliction and purification. For the disciple there is both a time for rejoicing in the Lord’s presence and celebrating his goodness and a time for seeking the Lord with humility and fasting and for mourning over sin. Do you take joy in the Lord’s presence with you, and do you express sorrow and contrition for your sins? (Don Schwager)