The Common Good

The Power Of Fasting

Date: December 20, 2013

Do you believe in the spiritual realm? I mean really believe; not in your head -- in your disciplines?

Do you believe that spiritual power can alter, transform, or even redeem social, institutional, structural and even legislative power?

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I'm not sure I really believed ... until recently.

On Sunday mornings, in the midst of our safe sanctuaries, our five-song worship sets, our 15-minute sermonettes and our one-hour services that can be timed with an egg timer, how does our worship and our practice offer witness to the reality of the spiritual realm? How do our disciplines engage the inner world beyond the good feeling we get from songs that comfort us? Comforting songs are valuable in our worship. In fact, God uses those songs to remind us of the ways the Holy Spirit interacts directly with us, knows us, and knows our most intimate needs. But how does our worship -- how do our congregations' spiritual disciplines strengthen our understanding and engagement with the powers, the principalities, and the world beyond our own homes and sanctuaries?