What is the best thing you have ever tasted? For many of us, over the last couple of weeks, it was probably gelato! Or perhaps it’s some of the family favourites that get served at Christmas. For those of us who believe in delaying gratification, it is that first bite of a crusty hot cross bun enjoyed on Good Friday and not before! Or perhaps it is a very special meal you enjoyed with others on some memorable occasion?
In our Soul Feast series, starting next Sunday, 3 February, you are invited to think of God as a feast to be enjoyed. “O taste and see,” says the Psalmist, “that the Lord is good.”
You have, undoubtedly, already experienced something in God that tempts your appetite or has quenched your thirst or sustained you during long and difficult periods in your life, but ‘tasting’ God, ‘seeing’ the feast that God spreads before us is something we are invited to keep doing throughout our lives; to keep tasting, for the flavours and textures, the delight, of life with God is unlimited; to keep seeing that God is good.
Over time it is very human for us to fall into patterns – growing up in my house Tuesday was always tuna mornay night – and while these patterns are sometimes useful, they can also limit the range of foods and flavours we are willing to experience. The family of a friend of mine practised the ‘finschsmakker’ rule (I don’t know if the name originally stood for anything!), but the rule was that everyone had to have three bites of everything that was on their plate.
Between now and Easter we are exploring different spiritual disciplines that may add texture and flavour to your experience of God. Can I encourage you to have the courage to take a bite! Perhaps even three! To listen to the sermons, to join a small group discussion, to perhaps even buy a copy of the book and to use this time “to taste and see that the Lord is good.”
3 Feb Following Jesus Today/The Spiritual Yearning of our time
10 Feb Inclusive, Caring Community/ The Spirit of Hospitality
17 Feb God’s Love & Justice
24 Feb Church 90th Anniversary/Our Common Worship
3 March Church Camp/Rediscovering the Fast
10 March Self-Examination, Confession & Awareness
17 March The Nature & Practice of Spiritual Reading
24 March Approaches to Prayer
31 March The Gift of Spiritual Direction
7 April The Sacred Art of Ceasing
The small groups will all be following Soul Feast, to some extent over the next few weeks – and there are also pop up groups (meeting from 3 March to 7 April). Soul Feast is available as an e-book or I have copies still available ($20)
One of my favourite quotes comes from American poet Conraid Aiken, “Music I heard with you was more than music, and bread I broke with you was more than bread…” Amen to that!