Lenten Journey:

Finding God in the Wilderness

As we prepare for Easter, Pastor Seok-Hwan will be sharing daily Lenten Reflections delivered right to your email inbox. Please take a moment to read them and reflect. Join us for services as you are able, either in-person at UMCW or online at www.umcw.org.

The Powerful Spiritual Tool of Fasting

“Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights (in the wilderness), and afterward he was famished.” (Matthew 4:2)


Just imagine. You walk into a friend’s house, and you notice that the door squeaks, the paint is peeling, the legs on the chairs are broken, and the windows are cracked and hanging off their hinges. Then you walk into their garage which is full of wonderful tools displayed on the wall. However, these wonderful tools have never been used and you and your friend don’t know how to use these tools fixing the house.


Our Lenten journey is all about aligning, repairing and readjusting our inner house with the spiritual tools of giving, praying and fasting. Tools are only good if they are put to use. Fasting is one of the most powerful tools for hunger for God that is taught in the Bible. And Jesus expected disciples to fast by saying, “When you fast...” and assumes that we will pray and fast. (Matthew 6:2-16) Fasting is always connected with prayer. (Acts 13:2-3) Most importantly fasting is a means, a powerful tool for seeking God and not the goal. Fasting tells us that our spiritual hunger is so deep and without God we die: “Lord, this much, I hunger for you.” Therefore, fasting as a form of prayer is not an option but a given.


In the Bible, we can see the people of God fasting for a variety of reasons: facing a crisis, seeking God's protection and deliverance, being called to repentance and renewal, asking God for guidance and humbling ourselves before God. Moses fasted before he received the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 34:28) Daniel fasted in order to receive guidance from God. (Daniel 9:3) Nehemiah fasted before beginning a major building project of the holy temple. (Nehemiah 1:4) Pharisees in the Bible fasted twice a week on the 2nd and 5th days of the week. But Jesus condemned their practice of fasting: “When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret.” (Matthew 6:17) Jesus Himself fasted for preparation of his public ministry. (Matthew 4:1-14) The first Christians fasted during decision-making times. (Acts 13:2-3)

Our motive in praying and fasting should be focused on God. “My soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?” (Psalms 42:2) special time each day with God is crucial and read the Psalms so that we can attain intimate communion with God. If you find a good verse, stay there and meditate it the whole day while you are fasting. A renewed closeness with God and a greater sensitivity to spiritual things are usually the results of a fast. How to fast? We will consider it next time.

Pastor Seok-Hwan


Grant me, the giver of breath, the grace of a holy hunger in both body and soul. Keep me mindful of the needs of others. Let me find my hunger satisfied only in you. Amen.



Fast from bread or meat. Interrupt the usual patterns of eating. Skip the evening snack, refuse seconds, or take only a half portion. Let us feel hungry and allow that hunger to point us toward the fact that our deepest hunger is from and for God. Remember the hungry in our prayers and donate the cost of the meal to our local food pantry. (Practice fasting and giving)

Palm Sunday Service

April 2 at 9:30 am

In-person worship service

(music from our Youth Choir)

Online service available at www.umcw.org

Holy Thursday Service

April 6 at 7:30 pm

In-person worship service

(music from our Adult Choir)

Online pre-recorded service available at www.umcw.org

Good Friday Service

April 7 at 7:30 pm

In-person worship service

(music from our Bell Choir)

Online pre-recorded service available at www.umcw.org

Easter Services

Sunrise: April 9 at 7:00 am

In-person service outside at UMCW by the pond

Pancake Breakfast: April 9 from around 7:30-9:00 am

Our Youth Groups' Annual Pancake Easter Breakfast is back! Join us in the Fellowship Hall for delicious food and fellowship. Free will donations will be accepted to benefit the youths' summer mission.

Worship: April 9 at 9:30 am

In-person worship service

(music from our Adult Choir)

Online Easter worship service available at www.umcw.org

Our Mission Statement

“God calls us to be disciples of Jesus, building community through service and fellowship and sharing the love of Christ with all.”


Our Openness Statement

“The United Methodist Church of Westford is an open and welcoming community of Christian Faith. Without any exceptions, we welcome anyone who seeks to love and to serve God.”

United Methodist Church of Westford

10 Church Street, Westford, MA

978-692-4176 • [email protected] www.umcw.org