When the kids were little, we tended to live on a low-meat wholefood diet, with plenty of pulses, grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables. The endearing title ‘bird seed stew’ has still stuck for my favourite bean casserole! During that period, my husband went away on a week’s course, and when he came home, I lovingly prepared some delicious braising steak to welcome him back. What I didn’t realise, was that he had been eating loads of meat on the residential, and was looking forward to a simple meal of our usual diet, so he really struggled to apply the expected enthusiasm for this special dish!
When Aaron and his offspring were given the meat to eat from the ceremony (Exodus 29:29-34) it was something special, something they would have been ‘saving themselves up for’. Any left-overs had to be burnt – no doggy bags – so I bet they ate simply beforehand, to make sure they really enjoyed it, and consumed as much as they possibly could! There they would be, in the very special garments set aside for this occasion, feasting on food set aside just for them, for this very special and sacred moment.
God sets a feast before us in his Word the bible. Do we come with appetite quickened, ready to consume all that he puts before us, or with taste buds dulled by the last exciting episode of Eastenders, or satiated by the more interesting fare offered by Facebook? Our church services are another opportunity to partake of the riches of his bounty. Do we earnestly seek to offer him our highest praise, so that his presence will come and satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts? And when the communion table is put before us, do we recognise the sacrifice we are remembering, and receive with glad and thankful hearts, or is it just another bit of ceremony to get through before Sunday lunch?
Jesus told a parable, warning about people turning their noses up at an invitation to a great banquet (Luke 14:15-23). They would be turned away, while the poor and afflicted would come in and feast.
How much do we want God? How hungry are we for his word? How much effort do we put into preparing ourselves for receiving all that he offers? It’s a banquet he’s putting on – come ready to enjoy it. Don’t miss out!