Saturday, January 27, 2007

We All Eat Something

We all eat something. We all experience hunger pains that pull us like magnets toward the tables of satisfaction. Some seek satisfaction and believe they find it in drugs and alcohol, pornography or illicit sexual behavior, gambling, risky activities, friendships or other relationships. Others believe they really “get their fill” from the job experience, traveling, children, hobbies, or entertainment tables. Obviously, as Paul wrote to the Galatians, some of these tables are taboo for the person walking with the Spirit (Gal 5:19). However, even the legitimate meals for the Christian in that list are not ultimately satisfying. Jesus calls us to greater satisfaction at a table most never approach.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt 5:6).

In Matthew the person pursuing righteousness wants to be right by doing right, as “right” has been revealed by Jesus. You can’t be right if you follow the Pharisees, they don’t know what’s right. You can be right if you hear Jesus and do what he says. That’s Matthew’s point, and that is Jesus’ point in the Sermon on the Mount.

Most of us know that following Jesus is the right thing. For different reasons perhaps, I believe we end up at other tables too often to eat what he has prepared for us, and the “filling” we get from those tables makes us think we are sufficiently nourished. When we believe we are nourished, our hunger pains are not as noticeable, and we pass by righteousness like we drive by Cracker Barrel because we just ate at IHOP.

Perhaps your time at the table of righteousness has not been satisfying for you. That could be, and you’ll need to evaluate it, because you’ve enjoyed the food from other tables so much, you never really gave the table of righteousness a chance. Tables of sin can deceitfully cover hunger pains for righteousness. That lack of satisfaction could also be that those of us who helped set up the table for Jesus, put something on your plate that we felt like was important; but wasn’t really all that Jesus has prepared for you. We do that sometimes. Sorry. Really.

Jesus said, “But I, when I am lifted up, will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32). In the context of the table of righteousness, Jesus means that if we sit at his table because we are hungry and thirst for what he has prepared, we will be satisfied.

Time for a hunger check. That’s Life at Work!


Ben Overby said...

Richard, sounds like part of our responsibility is to cultivate an appetitie for righteousness. When I gaze at the desert menu I grow more and more hungry for pie. Perhaps if we'd learn to gaze more at Jesus we'd increase our appetite for justice/equity/righteousness.

JD said...

Very good, Richard. I'm going to run this in the bulletin this week here. Thanks!