Monday, February 21, 2011

Gangra - Canon 18

If any one, under pretense of asceticism, shall fast on Sunday, let him be anathema.

Fasting on Sunday may appear through modern eyes to be a worthy spiritual discipline.  The early church took a different position.  More than one canon specifically addressed this because the believers' gathering on Sunday was to be a time of joy.  As they gathered together, they rejoiced in and from the resurrection life gained by Christ.  Eustathius had turned this idea around by having the person focus on himself with this outwardly pious act.  There are times when grief, sorrow, sin, or another factor will drive us to fast and seek the Lord, but Sunday was and is to gather together, remember him who died for our sin, build up one another, and relish the abundance of grace so freely given.

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