"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
April 1, 2022
I Give Up
Frequently, we hear “I give up” during the Lenten season as it is considered a season of self-denial. Denying ourselves also means turning away from the ways of the “old self” and putting on our “new self” in Christ. According to Matthew 16:24 – “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Although this verse was written in the masculine form, it applies to all. Jesus’ point is about doing right things for the wrong reasons. Those who practice fasting for the approval of others are hypocrites. They make sure everyone sees their gloomy faces on their fasting days. Jesus tells His followers to wash their faces and groom themselves when they fast. There is no reason to advertise a fast to other people. God will know and He will reward them.
Father God, let our Lenten practice become routine throughout the year and not just seasonal. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Reverend Geoffrey E. Tate, Sr.
We invite you to join us on a 40-day journey of prayer, financial sacrifice, physical activity, and spiritual connection.
Each day a new reflection with a scripture and prayer will be posted on the Metropolitan AME Church website and social media to encourage you as we prepare for Resurrection join us as we are reminded, awakened to the great power of God within us, and connect to our role in building with God a world of justice.
Read along with us each day or download the book to read and write along with us offline.