‘Tis the season for feasting!
Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas will soon be upon us. There will be office parties, school parties, family gatherings, and New Year’s Eve shindigs! There will be festive decorations, nutmeg sprinkled eggnog, my Aunt Shirl’s pumpkin roll and my Aunt Judy’s cheesy mushroom casserole!
Feasting brings us together. Conversation and food converge to bring about camaraderie. There is a connection — or oneness — that often can only be sensed when we come together for a meal. I also find joy in the variety of aromas and flavors I discover at the table. I leave such gatherings utterly satisfied — well-fed with food and companionship.
Once, when I was trying to lose weight, I drank those powdery diet drinks as a meal replacement. I found the taste boring and I longed for food that actually made me want to eat it. I wanted variety. I wanted to chew something. There was no looking forward to the next meal when I knew it was going to be another boring drink. Although it “did the job” in terms of giving me the appropriate vitamins I needed to be sustained, it was unsatisfying.
I discovered that I was not made to survive on meal replacement drinks. They are okay for a while, but they would not be healthy long term. I was created to be satisfied by food that looks good, smells good, and tastes good. All my senses working together to bring a contented sigh after the last bite has been scraped off the plate.
It’s no surprise then that the Bible often describes the God’s Word in terms of food. For instance, in Jeremiah 15:16 it says, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts (emphasis mine).” Or in Psalm 199:103, which says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Then there’s Ezekiel 3:1-3, which describes the Ezekiel’s initiation into prophethood: “‘Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.’ Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.”
But do I actually approach God’s Word as excitedly as I do a lovely spread at a family gathering? Do I stop to enjoy its taste or inhale its aroma? Do I truly approach the Bible as a spiritual feast — sweet as honey? Or do I treat Bible reading like a meal replacement drink, just showing up for a quick nutritional fix, but not to really savor?
During this holiday season — and everyday — I want to discover a feast within the pages of my Bible. To enjoy connection and conversation with the God who made me. To be hungry for the one thing that can only truly satisfy.
[This post first appeared over at Chatting in the Sky in 2010.]