Message from Pastor-in-charge
2023 is the last year of YMM's five-year vision "Built To Last". The pastoral team and stewards have decided on "Fullness in Christ" as the culmination of this vision and the Church theme for this year. We pray that every member of YMM can experience fullness in Christ and share this blessing with others, so that the blessing of Christ can be passed on from generation to generation.
This year's Lent will focus on Fast to Pray and Save to Bless. If we want fullness in Christ, we must learn to draw close to our gracious Lord every day. We will learn to pray using bible verses and ask the Lord to give us the virtues we need in our lives, as we practice “one verse, one virtue” per day. When praying, we can also practice fasting, set aside the money saved from the meal, and offer it to the Lord on Easter, so that the Annual Conference can use the money collected to bless the poor and needy families.
I hope that everyone in YMM will receive abundant blessings from the Lord during Lent: to be Kingdom citizens who love prayer, love God and love neighbors.
About The Season of Lent:
The season of Lent is an ancient practice of the church, traditionally engaged to prepare men and women for baptism on the day of Easter. The word comes from an old English word, Lenten, which means, “spring,” and connects with the notion of lengthening days. One of the key practices of Lent is fasting. Sundays, however, are always feast days. Properly speaking, the six Sundays of Lent are not counted in the forty days. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues through Holy Saturday. Ash Wednesday is a preparatory rite of passage, a solemn occasion for repentance and faith; it is ideal for focusing attention and clarifying intention.
The intent behind fasting is to refrain from something for a certain amount of time with the purpose of growing our dependence on God and showing Him our need and desire for Him. Fasting is an act of discipline and sacrifice. It should be done with an attitude of humility and a hunger for God. When denying ourselves food and even water, we set aside the time we would be eating to pray, read the Bible, and worship.
A Partial Fasting is when you refrain from eating sun up to sundown. You can also do this from a certain time of day, for example, from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.
This fast is one of the more flexible types of fasting. You can decide what fast you would pair with your partial fast: a complete fast or Daniel fast. With a complete fast, you would not eat solid foods. Daniel fast consists of eating fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Whatever you decide, remember the point is to deny your body what it longs for.
The Daniel Fast is taken from when Daniel fasted in the Bible. Daniel did not eat any meat or wine for three weeks. The purpose of this fast is to cleanse your body while praying and pressing into God’s presence. Before doing this fast, you would need to decide how long you will do this fast for. Some people do this fast for a week whereas others may do it for three weeks as Daniel did.
A complete fast is where you only drink water. You would not eat any solid foods. Some people choose to drink water and juice to help maintain some energy. It would be up to you to decide if you wanted to include juice or not. This fast will humble you as you will no longer have the satisfaction of chewing solid food.
An absolute fast is based on both Paul and Esther’s fasts in the Bible. You do not eat or drink during this fast. You do not even drink water. (Note: Before embarking on an absolute fast, please confirm with your family doctor that your body can bear it, so as not to damage your health.)
Soul fasting is where you obtain from a certain area of your life that may be out of balance or something you consume much of your time.
Ideas for soul fasting include:
=> Use of tablet (use hard copy Bible and notebook, so that you won’t be distracted by advertisements in the app or text messages)
=> Handphone (No using of handphone during fasting time)
=> Social Media
=> Television or Internet
=> Magazines or Newspaper etc.
It is not to say that any of these things are “bad,” but to remember that they do not run your life. You can sacrifice it and instead of scrolling through Instagram you can choose to pray and seek God.
Once the fast is over, it is important to slowly incorporate what you took out back into your life. Just because the fast is over does not mean it is the best idea to watch Netflix for seven hours. Remember to continue to honour God with what you spend your time on, even after the fast.