For Lent this year, The Corner congregation has set up a Fasting Tree in the foyer. Fasting is often associated with eating sparingly. But in its broadest sense, fasting can be about abstaining from those things that distract us from God – habits, activities and attitudes.
As there are 40 days of Lent, hanging from the tree are 40 examples of things people can fast from: judging others, excessive busyness, complaining, gossiping and perfectionism, to name but a few.
As we live in the Southern Hemisphere, much of Lent occurs in the autumn, hence the autumn-coloured leaves. Just as the trees let go of their leaves, so too do we let go of the things that keep us from God. For those who live in the Northern Hemisphere, purple-coloured leaves would also work.
How to Use the Fasting Tree
Throughout Lent, people are invited to pluck off one of the extra blank leaves that are attached to the tree. They can then write down something they’d like to fast from, drawing inspiration from one of the examples hanging from the tree, or using their own idea. The leaf is then placed at the foot of the tree as a sign of the person’s promise to let go of this habit for Lent.
How to Use Fasting Cards
For those looking for a daily reflection for the season of Lent, we also have sets of 40 fasting cards available. The cards mirror the themes on the leaves hanging from the Fasting Tree. Each card includes something to fast from for that day, a question to ponder, and a short prayer. Download the prayer cards and calendar (with instructions) below.
May your Lenten journey be one of preparation, letting go and deepening your relationship with God.