This message was written by Pastor Randal Bruno for the February church newsletter.
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (PSA 34:8)
My wife and I received a picture a while back of our grandson. We enjoy getting these from time to time as they allow us to enjoy his progress. This particular picture had the face of our grandson just after a close encounter with what he thought was a container of milk. He saw the container and quickly noticed that it was white in color. Then he raised it up to drink it finding out too late that it was not milk but yogurt. Now, he likes yogurt. But I do not believe that he has ever had it in such volume before. The result was a face full of yogurt and the picture will be perfect if anyone ever starts a "Got Yogurt?" campaign. While the wasted yogurt probably cost a couple of dollars, the look on his face was, as they say, priceless.
It is a good thing that he likes the stuff. Imagine getting a face full of your least favorite, or perhaps even most hated, food. For me that would be sweet potatoes or cottage cheese. But due to the fact that I dislike them so much, I have learned what to watch for in the ingredients of things, what they look like in their raw and cooked state, and how they smell, in order to completely avoid them. Maybe you too have foods you dislike to the point of avoiding.
Now it is true that the only way we find out that we disliked certain foods is by trying them at least once in the first place. Then once we decide that we do not indeed like them, in order to avoid them we learn about them and be vigilant to steer clear of them. Yet the same holds true for those foods that we enjoy. We have learned a great deal about them in order to recognize them, not to avoid them, but to seek them. And while you may think that I have run something so obviously true about food into the ground, have you considered that the same holds true about God?
It is incredibly difficult, naive, or untruthful, to put God on our list of things we dislike if we have not taken the time to try God in the first place. The only way to know if we like or, for some strange reason, dislike God is to learn enough about Him to watch for His ingredient in all we do, what He looks like, how He acts, how He changes things so that they taste better. (Imagine communion without God in, under, and through the bread and the wine.) It has been my experience that as a person learns more about God, they don't steer clear of Him, they ask Him to steer them nearer to Him. Perhaps they have tasted the Good News as someone who tastes the good wine and anything less will forever never do. And the real downside is that if someone has not learned about the good wine, they may be settling for something far, far inferior.
So the next time you invite a neighbor over for a meal don't be too concerned over what they don't eat; just be sure they see the most important ingredient in what they do have.
God's Peace, Pastor Randy