Lent 2017 - Ecumenical Bible Study - Week 3
The third of this year’s Lent Bible Study meetings organised by ‘Churches Together in Canton’ was held at the Canton Uniting Church, on the corner of Cowbridge Road East and Theobald Road at 7:00pm on Monday 20 March 2017. There was a good attendance from the denominations within this group, for this session whose theme was Fasting.
Reverend Dr Tom Arthur, retired URC (United Reform Church) minister led the Lent Study which he started with prayer and then looked at the scripture reading in the Gospel of Mark chapter 2: verses 18- 20, Jesus Questioned About Fasting. Tom poised the question to those attending, should we fast and went on to speak of fasting traditions in various denominations giving the example of the Roman Catholic practice of fasting since Vatican 2 and compared that to the fasting of other faiths such as the Muslim Ramadan.
We discussed how the date of Easter Day is usually the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the March equinox and that Ramadan is also determined by the new moon. Tom asked how many days are there in Lent and we determined there were 40 fasting days plus the six Sundays which are feast days as they are Christ’s resurrection days. We also talked about what could be consumed during the fast and how they were to be broken.
It was asked if anyone had discussed fasting with Muslims and a few people shared their experiences. Fasting gives solidarity with those who suffer poverty and hunger, not through choice but by circumstance.
Tom talked about Christians4Ramadan where Christians had fasted during Ramadan and he also mentioned Brian McLaren who is a prominent Christian pastor, author, activist and speaker. Conversely there is also Muslims4Lent where in a show of solidarity, Muslims are standing with Christians and giving up guilty pleasures for Lent.
Tom read scripture from the Book of Isaiah chapter 58 verses 3-10, True Fasting. It was determined that fasts are not just periods of going without food but also times of intensified prayer, self reflection, intentionality and reading scripture.
We then heard an extract from Mary’s Song in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1 verses 52-53 and Tom went on to ask if we had any new thoughts about how we might include fasting in Lent that we didn’t have before.
He then read out the quote below from a Muslim lady Murva Tasman and asked us to repeat it after each line:
Be like the sun for grace and mercy
be like the night to cover another’s faults
be like the running water for generosity
be like death for rage and anger
be like the earth for modesty
appear as you are. Be as you appear.
The meeting was closed with prayer and was followed by a time of fellowship when refreshments were served.
The next meeting will be at St John the Evangelist Church, Canton in St John's Crescent, next Monday 27 March 2017 at 7:00pm.
Written by David Foley
Welcome to the website of the Canton Churches. Here you will find information about activities that are going on in Canton.
We hope you enjoy exploring our site, find it helpful, and that our thought for the season will inspire and challenge you.
The ministers of the Canton Churches meet regularly to pray and to discuss how we might work together.
Who we are
What we do