canaI got engaged on December 8th! Me and my fiance, Audrey have been dating for around 11 months now. She lives in Lexington, KY and I in Louisville, KY. For those of you who don’t know there’s an hour and a half drive between the two. At this point, were both pretty much done with being apart from each other, living in different cities. We both have made the comment that there is a pain in leaving each other after we have spent the weekend together. There is a longing in both of our hearts for a completion, a consummation to this engagement. Some people have said to us, “Wow, you guys have such a short engagement.” But I’m already over being in engaged, it’s all good, but I want to marry this girl, you know. I think 3 months is too long!

You may be wondering what in the world this has to do with fasting. Well, today I was meditating on a passage in Mark, where Jesus was questioned by some people about why the disciples of John the baptist and the Pharisees were fasting and his disciples were not.  Jesus responded, 

(19) Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. (20) The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day (Mk 2:19-20).

Jesus is saying to these questioners that it would completely inappropriate for his disciples to fast right now. Now is a time of fulfillment, now is a time of consummation. Have you ever been to a wedding where people are wailing and mourning? Well, I hope you haven’t! Weddings are a time of joy and celebration. That is what Jesus is saying here. The disciples have Jesus with them and in his presence they are experiencing joy unspeakable. Jesus had said earlier, “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15).” The messianic age had dawned in Christ and there was no time for mourning, only rejoicing!

But Jesus did not stop there. He said, “The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them.” Although veiled, this is a reference to the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Jesus came and died to purchase his bride from the clutches of the evil one, but has now departed. Now, is a time of mourning and longing for the marriage supper of the Lamb (John 14:1-3; Rev 19). It is a time where we wait for the return of Christ.

I was struck, as I read, “and then they will fast in that day.” What day? The day we live in right now! In this day we will fast, in this time of engagement, between the promise and the marriage, between the ring and the altar. There should be a longing in our hearts to be with Christ evidenced by mourning and fasting in this age. Why don’t we fast then? It is because we are blinded by the allure of this world. This place is too much our home and not heaven. We are blinded to the beauty of Jesus! I think if we were closer to him, we might be more burdened by our distance from the marriage.

I pray that I would speak of the future marriage supper of the Lamb the way I do my own on March 28th. 3 months is just too long. How long of Lord, must I wait? Come Lord Jesus come. Come quickly! I’m done suffering under the weight of my own sin, I long for perfection in your presence. I already over this world, I am looking for that better city. Engagement is indeed a time of fasting!