the scales started to peel away from my eyes as i read through the gospel of matthew. my mind was held captived when i listened the response of jesus' when john's disciples asked;
"why is it that we and the pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
in all patience, jesus explained just as plainly as you would explain anything to an inquisitive, wonder-struck child. his disciples do not fast because they are in the presence of their bridegroom. there is no need for fasting when the bridegroom in with them. but, jesus continues; there will come a time when the bridegroom will be taken from them, then they will fast. this is the breath of fresh air i needed to begin clearing the foggy misunderstanding that suffocates the the clarity to the purpose of fasting.
the bridegroom has been taken from us. we no longer walk with him, eat with him, or sit before his feet in an incarnate fashion. and so we must fast for his return. we must humble ourselves and cry out along with the spirit for the bridegroom to 'come!' we fast because without the bridegroom our souls are deprived of the very source of life. and we fast in order to fill the golden bowls of the prayers of the spirit that will be poured out and release the return of the bridegroom jesus.