Devotion - May 6, Quarantine Eating...

[Psalms 26-30; Proverbs 6; Luke 6:20-22]

“There is a hunger abroad in our time, haunting lives and hearts. Like an empty stomach aching beneath the sleek coat of seemingly well-fed culture, it reveals that something is missing from the diet of our rational, secular and affluent culture.” Marjory Thompson

Food is a curious thing during this COVID-19 Outbreak. There are the Facebook groups on what we are cooking – the upswell of bread baking – the hoarding and the cravings. Apparently the hashtag #covidcooking has more than 95,000 photos on Instagram and is splattered with everything from banana cinnamon donuts to Spam mee pok tah. I love scanning the photos and admit to trying a few new things myself!

We’re hungry, and food is a great comfort. We also know we are hungry for more than food. Maybe a craving for the comfort that Isaiah announces – “Comfort, comfort my people, says the Lord…”. The comfort that is salvation and rescue, forgiveness and hope in Jesus. I’m wondering today if a little more hunger may be a good thing for those of us not experiencing food insecurity. Food enjoyed in fellowship and with gratitude is a gift and a grace. Food eaten without gratitude is gluttony – a sin obscuring a deeper hunger.

“We are hungry, all of us. And often we are lost. But God provides for us a place of healing, a place of belonging, a family of faith in which we discover who we really are, a shelter that welcomes us to find our way home. It is easy, I suppose, to take this home, God’s house, for granted. It is easy to find ourselves grazing on the programs of the church, to forget why we’re here, to lose ourselves in committees and board meetings.” Christine Chakoian

Jesus gives himself to us in the breaking of the bread in these days – in the Bible and prayer, in prayerful conversation with friends and mindful walks on these gorgeous spring days. I hope that you remember you can gather with a friend or friends around a table of God’s word, in a phone call or Zoom Bible study. Jesus meets us in these gatherings, feeding us with himself.

Jesus said, “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.” (Luke 6:21) Maybe nourishing the children of God in community means celebrating the grace of good food in moderation, as daily bread – sharing the excess with those who are hungry now – and recognizing the soul hunger that only Jesus can feed. And He is a perfect host.

Lord Jesus, you are the Good Shepherd who leads us beside still waters, who spreads out a banqueting table before us. Today, would you please forgive us for eating without gratitude. Please give us the grace to eat and drink from your word and presence. Fill our emptiness, heal our brokenness and feed our souls. Amen.
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