..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Feast of God: Learning to Dine at God’s Table, Part 2.

The Feast of God: Learning to Dine at God’s Table, Part 2.

How do we eat spiritually? With what spiritual
fork do we pick up our food? With what spiritual
teeth do we chew? With what spiritual stomach do
we digest?

Eating spiritually is about spirit to Spirit
communion with Jesus. It is not thinking about
Him, but, rather, receiving spiritual sustenance
from Him. Sometimes you see, in more ancient
depictions of Christ, a cord or tube coming out
of the Lord’s side feeding those who drink from
it. Sometimes milk or wine is flowing from His
breast. How strange this seems to us. It should
not. It speaks of spiritual eating.

I am quite convinced that we have been like
children who play by cutting pictures of food
out of magazines and placing them on paper
plates and pretending that it is really
dinner. We then wonder why we are starving
and why the promised food of God tastes so
impalatable. Are you eating paper instead
of life? We can read the bible and it alone
will not produce spiritual food. We can
take the Lord’s Supper and it can be just
a ritual. It is an impartation by the
Spirit of God that alone gives life.

When I had my first communion in the
Catholic tradition, I can remember the
exact moment of taking the communion
host for the first time. I had been well
prepared that this was a special occasion.
As I took of communion I had a moment of
panic for I felt sure that a mistake had
been made and that I had been given a
cardboard circle. I was focused on the
outer and could not discern the spiritual

How do we not know how to eat spiritually?
Sometimes it is because deep within us,
mercy and truth have not met. Our
understanding of what God desires to do,
and our ability to rest in His provision to
accomplish it within us, have not kissed.
Indeed, they seem to live as enemies. We
do not truly believe how much God is for
us and able to nourish us. We go hungry,
even starve from our ignorance. How we
view God affects what we think He will
serve us when we come to dine with Him.

Dear Ones, we need to sit and let His
sustenance flow into us so that our
ability to trust Him might be nourished.
Let us bring our hungry souls to God
trusting, and then knowing, that He
will feed us and that we do not have to
provide for ourselves. If we are faithful
to sit before Him, He will get the
food to us! He shows us that when He fed
the hungry multitudes on the hillsides.
He will impart His life-giving bread to
us. Bread of Heaven, feed us til we want
no more!

How shall we tell someone how to come to
the Divine Table? Often I have traveled
and will tend to wait to see how one is
expected to partake of the food set before
them. If you brought someone to the table
of the Lord, how would you tell them to
eat? God is holding out a banquet to us
but much of it may be missing our
spiritual mouths.

First of all, we must know that our
relationship with Christ is not merely
mental, but spiritual. For life and
substance flow by the Spirit and not
the mind.

It is possible that we know the Lord,
but are still a spiritual infant.
Paul writes, “Are you still babies
that I need to be spoon feeding you
milk instead of meat?” (I Cor 3:1

What keeps our appetite on an
infantile level? Is it our shame
that prevents us from eating? Do we
feel unworthy to partake of a feast
we did not pay for? Do we fail to discern
the heavenly food in His Body, both at
communion and in the many members of
the Body of Christ on earth?

Or is it that our taste for the gruel
of the world has left our tastebuds as
traitors? Paul tells us that it is our
carnality, our focus on the food and
desires of THIS world and not on the
food of God, that keeps us from growing
up and going on to a full course meal
in God.

Do we eat the bread of emptiness
thinking that it will fill us, or even
worse, mistakenly thinking it is
the bread of God and that we are meant
to feel hungry after we eat it? Are we
like puppies who eat anything that they
find, not having developed the discernment
or the sense of what is edible and what
is not, and in so doing ruin our digestive

Beloved ones, tough things will happen
to us, but there is always a Feast set
before us, even a table in the wilderness.
God always promises that the righteous
will not be forsaken nor will they
or their children go begging for bread
(Psalm 37:25). We can count on that as
a promise for spiritual bread just as
much for earthly bread.

The bread of God indeeds both fills
and leaves us hungry, but hungry for
more of the sweet food of which we
cannot live without, hungry for the
things of God.

Have you ever had a wonderful meal,
with a wonderful dessert and could
not wait for more time to go by and
the food to be digested so that
you would be able to have another
piece of chocolate cake?

For all the times that you have
wanted to eat dessert and not your
vegetables, know that even this
most human of feelings is a
principle pointing to the banquet
of Christ.

Now, who has ever told you that?
What is preached is more often
about law then grace. More often
about truth, rational and
intellectual, than about mercy.
More about lack than abundance.
Don’t you more often hear that
you should eat less and diet more?
And where has that gotten you? You
are still hungry because your spirit
is starving. Brothers and sisters,
dig in.

I recently had a dream that I
went into an unused storage area
at church and found desserts of every
conceivable kind ignored and uneaten.
I was upset that the food was not
being partaken of. There were cakes
and brownies, and cookies, and sweets.
I asked why the food was not being
eaten and I was told that it might
be old or full of bugs. We are afraid
to eat of the sweetness that God offers.
We put it aside and would rather go
without. We are suspect of the food.

At the Lord’s Supper is a place of
abundance and surplus. I dearly
love vegetables, but they do not
usually make me swoon. Consider
the Last Supper. Here is meat indeed.
The disciples were reclining at table.
They are examples of the complete rest,
the swoon of fulfillment, the dinner
of delight and comfort beyond compare.
They are in the Presence of Jesus, and
they are resting there. We must learn
to recline at the Lord’s table, where
there will be no rush to “eat and run.”

I sense that most of us distrust our
most trustworthy Lord, at least in
some area, and that we suspect, even
though we would not say this, that He
may be poisoning us. As much as I love
the Lord, I still feel experiential fear
inside of me regarding some aspects of
complete dependence on Him. So do you.
All we can do with that is come to God
and allow Him to dismantle that fear
bit by bit. Let the perfect meal of
love cast out the fear of total surrender.
We must trust Him enough to let ourselves
be consumed by Him! In turn He will give
us food that we know not of.

We do not know that one crumb from His
table will fulfill us eternally and that
He is not offering one Crumb, but His
whole body and all of His blood –an
eternal feast, a feast that sustains
past the ages of the age.

Do you know this kind of eating? All
of us need to know it more deeply.
Let mercy and truth meet together
to prepare a meal of righteousness
and peace like you have never known.
Ask God to feed you. Do not doubt
His bounty, nor His desire to give it.
Sit with the Lord and feast upon Him.
You shall not come away hungry.
Open your mouth wide and He shall fill

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