Food Critics

O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8

Do you remember the best meal you ever had? Just think about that day, what did you do? Where did you go? Who was there? What did it smell like? What about the colors? Enjoying a good meal for me is more than just the food. Actually, it has to be, right? If you think about it we eat for more reasons than hunger. Some eat out of boredom, some eat because of depression, and some eat to coop with stress. So if these few reasons have actually nothing to do with nurturing the body, how can a good meal not be more than just the food? Drive-thru windows kind of kill the importance of eating. Eating becomes supply and demand. The process becomes merely a transactional based relationship. You get a “one size fits all” service and or “I hate my life” type of service. Sometimes depending on the individual, you get a little extra niceness for a fee (tips).

But sometimes lightning strikes and magic happens. Someone gets its! There are times when we sit down at the table and worship happens. In that moment the location matters. We notice the distance traveled to reach the restaurant. Along the way, we experience life, the scenery, the road, and the houses that dotted along the path. We noticed all of the unique stops. Strangely enough, we continue to laugh about conversations on the road long after they have ended. At the table, people’s quarks are what makes them special and not a frustration to your ideal image of them. At the table, a person’s indecisiveness poses no threat to our will and plans. We are pleased to have more time to look around the restaurant. In the moments of patiently waiting we pick up on the owner’s vision and see his message. We see what message he spoken to us and it adds to the enjoyment of the food. What we partake of is more than a mere means to an end. It is purposefully planned and each little detail plays to the next.

At the table we feast on delicious food, enjoy wonderful service, and take part in a fellowship with others that blesses us. These are the meals we remember, these are the memories that last a life time. This meal changes us for the better and the people we shared it with have been brought closer to us. Whether the people are family members, co-workers, friends or event strangers; things are different. No matter the future disagreements, there is a bound that has formed and it can be used as glue. All of this can come from a meal. The restaurant has to be right, the food has to be good, the service must be memorable, the environment must be purposeful, the owner must be a designer, and the location has to be outside of our comfort zone. We don’t stumble upon a place like this, we almost have to be drawn to it. This type of eatery kind of calls out to its customers.

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

People just don’t wake up and say, “hey let’s go here!” People usually find it when they are lost, hearsay, or invitation. We wonder how do they stay in business, how do they make a profit and when we look at it this way we miss their purpose. This restaurant doesn’t exist to gain of material wealth, it exists solely to server. The look of joy on the faces are payment enough for them. The joy that this establishment brings makes the work worth it for them. This is why the cost of fresh ingredients don’t affect meal prices and no expense is spared for a great dish. Each meal for each person is not assemble line produced. Each person is treated like a person with a value that is worth the time and effort. This is no one size fits all but there is still only one route to the restaurant and only one chef responsible for the feeding of the people. Everyone’s tastes buds are different but everyone eats the say way and here the needs are all the same. The base of every meal remains the same with the same purpose. Here, people are served but their way of how it should be is checked at the door. Just as no one goes to a spa and tell the masseuse how to do their job.

John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

Unfortunately, this is not what we want. We desire to be filled and have our need of hunger satisfied as soon as possible. We don’t care are the artistry in the preparing of a meal. We don’t care about the environment of the restaurant. We don’t care about the waiters and greeters. We don’t care about the chef because the most important person is us and the main thing is our wants. So we seek to have it our way. Food needs to be close by and not too far. Food must be fast and priced right. Service lifts us up and doesn’t point back to the Chef or Owner. We don’t need tables and have no need to “fellowship”; just give us a window to limit interaction. Get out of the way and give us multiple ways to get the same thing. This way we have even more ways to have it our way. However the meal comes let me add to or take away from. No matter how many times we get sick from eating like this we keep going back because we feel free. When we want what want we and will do whatever it takes to get what we want; we can be fed anything that’s wrapped in the right package.

The Lord invites us to a feast but it’s more than a meal it is worship of the true and living God.

Isaiah 25:6 The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine.

Psalms 63:5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

Revelation 3:20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Jesus has invited us to worship while he meets our needs through his grace, love and mercy. He is offering us an experience and a relationship. He is serving us, because he became lowly and lived and then died in our place. Jesus never healed to simply meet a need but to bring about a relationship to meet a greater need that is beyond our bellies. The entire process of reaching the restaurant is a part of the design. The journey prepares us to receive and be shaped by what we be a part of once we arrive. Those we meet along the way are always so different and they take in the travel differently. It’s not really point of view but the point of their heart God is working on. It shapes how they see God and when the body builds like this, the inexhaustible God is beautiful in all His glorious angles. Who we meet is never an accident. Our seating arrangements is never random. Who we fellowship is purposeful always. The King has given the great banquet and calls to us, the lame, blind, lost, the not so together and the like. The “have not’s”, not necessarily poor but those who know grace and mercy first hand. To them being treated like they are perfect has an effect on them; more so than the ones who think they earned it or deserve it. These are the ones who don’t have to be begged to “go and make disciples”. These are the people of the great commission. This is way they were invited, they belong there, they need to be there, and they are part owners with the owner. To always tell you about the goodness of God but never introduce you to God is like raving about the best food you have ever eaten and never mentioning the restaurant. The people of the great commission can’t do that, God is never far from their lips. Because they have tasted and have seen that the Lord is good. They have taken refuge in Him. They seek the Lord and fear him because there is life there and just a full stomach. Here the restaurant’s food is the word of God and the waiters are the heavenly hosts of angels, the Father owns it and Christ has broken his body for the feeding of his sheep. When we eat we worship him in spirit and truth. Jesus wants us to come in, sit, eat, fellowship, enjoy, experience, and know him in an intimate setting. Yet, we desire to carry out or drive thru.

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