Spiritual Practices 3.1—fasting

Last Friday, after two days of meeting with the Working Group on Worship, I still hadn’t written my sermon. (I like to have it down on Thursday.) I went to Samarco, the coffee shop next to the church, and had some of their excellent coffee while I wrote on my Mac. (Yes, there’s at least a trace of hypocrisy there, if not more…writing about fasting while in a cafe sipping coffee…)

I was halfway through my coffee when the man at the table next to me asked if I minded him interrupting me. He’d noticed what I was writing about; he told me he was a Muslim (a convert, the son of an Anglican priest). He told me that Islam has a practice of fasting two days a week, on Tuesday and Thursdays as well as at Ramadan. This weekly practice is in decline; apparently, it began when people couldn’t afford to feed a family seven days a week, so it gave them a communally sanctioned way to eat five days a week. These days of course, most people in Australia can eat every day.

He was saddened by this decline in the practice of fasting in his faith. I saw him today (same cafe, new cup of coffee) and he said he’d spoken to the imam (or whoever preaches) at the mosque at Darra. He had to explain what Lent was to the preacher; the result is, that this Friday, the topic of preaching at the mosque will be fasting!! Maybe I should go…

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Filed under Interfaith, spiritual practices

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