Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Dear Pilgrim, are you hungry?

Dear Pilgrim, are you hungry?

The Lord our God is the perfect host. There is a feast forever on offer from the abundance of His house! He created a Garden for man, overflowing and teeming with good food from the trees, watered as they were by the rivers of the Spirit, the rivers of delight. How it was His desire that we should eat and be satisfied, that we would delight in the overflowing abundance of all He freely offered.

Yet man turned his back on the feast of faith - and ever since the ground has been subject to a curse, such that only through painful toil can man now eat food from it. Thorns and thistles now point to the glory from which man has fallen. All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied. With a heart set on earthly things, even the riches of the promised inheritance from the Lord are sold for a pot of stew. Yet still man’s appetite is not satisfied.

For food that spoils can never satisfy. But there is another food – and this food endures for eternal life. It was in the desert as men gave in to their cravings that this was revealed, as they tested the living God by asking “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?” Is the arm of the Lord too short? Can He not instruct His ravens to bring bread and meat to His servants? So the merciful Father opened the doors of the heavens, He rained down manna from heaven, and man ate the bread of angels.

Dear Pilgrim, are you hungry? There is One who has food to eat that we know nothing about. His food is to do the will of His Father and to finish His work. As the Bread of Affliction hung upon the cross, He purchased salvation for you and for me by giving His flesh for the life of the world. As the Living Bread was raised to life, He gives us eternal life and promises to raise us up at the last day.

Dear Pilgrim, are you feeding on Him? For man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.  Are you feeding on Him? When His Word comes, will you eat it? For His Word is our joy and our heart’s delight. His Word is as sweet as honey. Will you open your mouth and eat what He gives you? For He will fill the hungry with good things, but the rich He will send away empty.

Dear Pilgrim, do you see the table He has prepared for you? This table is in the presence of your enemies – but precious Pilgrim, there is no need to fear. Be strong! For the Bread of the Presence is always at His table. Oh, let Him lead you to the banquet hall! Pilgrim, take your seat. Ah, I hear your protest to Him: “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”  But remember, even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table. Oh, Pilgrim, is it possible to grasp the full glory of the inheritance into which He has brought us – that we are to eat at the King’s table like one of the King’s sons? Is it possible? Can this be true? Oh, Pilgrim, yes, this is true! Sit no longer in the shadows, grateful simply to be in His company, longing for a glance to come your way from His table, yet not daring to hope that He might notice you – come, take your seat at His table, eat and drink with Him! Look at Him full in the face! Speak to Him, and delight in the sound of His voice speaking to you.

And precious Pilgrim, you who have been watching for Him, waiting for Him, you who have been wise and have taken oil in your lamp to keep it burning…can this be? Look, He has dressed Himself to serve…He makes you recline at His table….He is coming to wait on you! The One before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, to the glory of the Father….He is coming to wait on you! This is our God! Oh, Pilgrim…when He reveals these truths in His Word…..the abundance, the love He lavishes on us….sometimes it is almost too much to take in. The riches of His glorious inheritance…let us fall to our knees in worship. Who is like our God?

Oh, Pilgrim, come, come with me to Mount Zion! This is where the feast is laid out before us! Come, come with me, let us feast in the abundance of His house! Oh come, come with me! And let us go to the street corners and invite anyone we can find who has ears to listen to come and feast with us at this banquet!

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
    a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine –
    the best of meats and the finest of wines.
(Isa 25:6) 

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