Sermon Illustration: “Here Comes the Bride” & Fasting
Recently, while officiating a wedding, I learned one of the key reasons for fasting.
The bride and groom are the kind of cute that almost makes you want to vomit a little. They are both “pretty people” (if you know what I mean) and are totally in love with each other. Their giddiness to get married was unmatched.
As many couples do, this particular couple chose not to see or speak to one another until the bride walked down the aisle. I love getting to stand where I normally do at weddings. I get to see the bride and her father; I get to see the momma’s looking back and forth at the bride and the groom; and I get to see the groom’s reaction. My seat is better than the front row! I get to literally stand there and take it all in – right in the middle of it all.
At this particular wedding, when the back doors of the chapel opened, the bride and her father appeared. The sight of the groom at that moment – and for the 30-45 seconds when his bride walked down the aisle – was absolutely beautiful. His face said it all. His tears said it all. His breathing said it all. His putting his face in his hands said it all. His being forced to use a handkerchief to collect himself said it all. It was an overwhelming moment for me, and I assume everyone in the room. Like I said, it was beautiful.
That moment – the moment the entire day had pointed; the moment they had waited for since before their engagement; the moment they longed for – was breathtaking.
Now get this.
The groom didn’t speak to her all day.
The groom didn’t text or call or have a conversation with her.
The groom didn’t want to see her until late in the afternoon.
Why? Because he wanted nothing to do with her?
Of course not!
Because he wanted nothing – NOTHING – to get in the way of embracing and enjoying and seizing that moment. He wanted ZERO limits or distractions or hindrances from capturing that moment.
He went without so he could enjoy to the fullest.
Fasting has many purposes. One of them is removing anything that would get in the way of hearing from God. Turning off and tuning out anything that might hinder leaning into and listening to what the Holy Spirit says. Whether personally or in a corporate setting.
What about you?
- Do you look at your phone before worship service on Sunday? Why?
- Do you watch TV before you go to worship on Sunday? Why?
- Do you fill your belly with food before sitting through a worship service on Sunday? Why?
- Do you check email before you have been with Jesus in the morning? Why?
- Do you scroll social media before you have focused and listened to the Lord? Why?
We can all learn something from this groom. Fasting isn’t always about removing something that makes us ache. Fasting is also about a desire to remove anything that would hinder us from hearing from the Father.
What do you need to do without in order to enjoy to the fullest?