“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time…” 1 Timothy 2:1-6
Covering is a prominent theme in Scripture. Coverings are related to glory and beauty. Skin, hair, clothing, authority, clouds, blood some coverings mentioned. When skin is torn or diseased, when hair is damaged, shorn, or lost, when clothing is filthy or tattered there is a loss of glory.
Spiritually speaking, sin has torn the fabric of our souls and of life. There is a loss of integrity. We feel shame because our glory as creatures made in the image of God has been damaged, lost, compromised. The likeness of God is disfigured and lost. The blood covering of the OC sacrifices and blood covering of the spotless Lamb of God are intended to remove the dirtiness and defilement, the wounded-ness of our lives. Our old covering is torn or diseased, Our robes are stained and tattered. What we need and long for is a new, clean, spotless robe. We wish to exchange our shame for glory, our brokenness for wholeness and healing.
Too often we find sin alive and well in the kingdom where it should never have place. The sin Christ died to free us from enslaves us again and embitters us, our relationships, and the life we live together as the people of God. When serious breaches of faithfulness take place in the Scriptures we see men tearing their robes, fasting, mourning, covering their heads with dust (the curse mediator) and ashes (burning’s remains), and their interceding, asking for God’s response as covenant Lord and Lover of His people. The rending of clothes symbolizes the rending of the soul and the fabric of covenant life in the kingdom and acknowledges the commensurate loss of glory and need for God to act.
Now to our Friday fasting. We have spoken much about fasting as a spiritual discipline, one that benefits us by increasing our capacity to effectively hear and respond to the Lord’s call to serve. In particular, it can be one way to express our grief and mourning over glory stealing sin we see in ourselves, the Church, and the world. Our fasting leads us to a focused consideration of and intercession for the sin diseased situations in our worlds. It adds a point to our prayers asking the eternal Lover of all mankind to end sin’s night and tyranny, its salting of our fields, its poisoning of our waters.
Today may our fasting be acceptable in Messiah’s sight and be reason for His triumph over the devil and his minions, over sin and bondage, over death and hell, to reach ever more deeply into our own lives and the life of the world.
Accept, O Lord, our intercessions for all mankind. Restore lost glory to mankind and evermore increase the light and glory of Thy gospel in the world. Amen.