Beggars At A Five-Star Feast

feastHi. My name is Michael. I’m a foodie.

There, I said it.

I love food. But not just food…good food.

Great food, actually.

I love sourcing, serving and savoring it.

Whether the artistic plating at a classic fine dining establishment, the organic offerings of a farm-to-table boutique or the homespun goodness of a southern lady’s kitchen, these palate-pleasers are irresistible to me.

But there is more to my confession.

My wife and I raised three even worse foodies and unleashed them on the world. They have actually amplified my affection for gastric delights and culinary indulgences.

  • The oldest serves at one of our areas top restaurants which boasts a wine-themed menu with food so outrageous it will, in the words of my food-loving father, “make your tongue slap your brains out.”
  • His younger brother leads an upscale specialty grocer with gourmet selections so delectable that when I visit I feel like a kid touring Diagon Alley guided by Harry Potter himself.
  • Their little sister has turned her gluten intolerance into an opportunity to create a unique cooking style which produces unexpectedly delicious food absent of many of the not-so-good-for-me things I thought were essential for great taste.

Each of them has contributed uniquely to my insatiable appetite for the sensually delicious world of a foodie. Turn these three loose on a menu, a wine list or in a tapas bar and the results are spectacular…and expensive!

Naturally, it was thrill for me when I recently discovered that…

God is a foodie too!

Yep. He belongs in the same twelve-step program for recovering gastronomiques as me.

Check this out…its from His autobiography:

  • The Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples—the best of meats and the finest of winesIsaiah 25:6
  • They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delightsPsalm 36:7-8
  • I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foodsPsalm 63:5
  • He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good thingsPsalm 107:9
  • They will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord—the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herdsJeremiah 31:12

The old prophet Joel even went so far as to predict that in the end, “…the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk…A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house and will water the valley…Joel 3:18

The whole story of God’s love begins in a lush garden, involves dumping angel bread in the desert for 40 years, is acted out through multiple feasts every year, makes a stop to expand the wine pairings at a wedding and grill some fresh fish on a beach, then culminates in a reception that will leave the best food critics speechless.

Jesus was brash enough to call himself water of life and bread from heaven*. Then the single thing he left for us to remember Him by was bread and wine. Which, by the way, He promised to share with us in the Kingdom of Forever.

You see, contrary to the drab descriptions with which He is routinely labeled in religious circles week after week, God is in love with beauty and bounty.

He is not a smug utilitarian interested only in results. He is a good God who even in the painful realities of a broken world supplies soul-delights to the famished hearts of His people.

Unlike the indigestible imitations of mass-produced pleasure offered by the junk joints of modern culture, God feeds the soul with reality that is delightful to the taste and beneficial for growing maturity.

Recently, chefs from the top restaurants in our area decided to create a five-star meal for some homeless folk. They blended their talents and served each impeccable course in a fine dining experience complete with live music, classic china and topped off with gourmet desserts. These culinary masters designed a feast fit for a palace but delivered it under a bridge.

When I heard the story, it reminded me of Someone. Someone who refuses to toss out table scraps, reheat leftovers or offer bland TV dinners. He is not a God who serves tasteless gruel based on our broken lives.

Not our Father!

He satisfies the soul rather than simply satiating the flesh.

He counts blessed those who hunger and thirst for His way of living…and he makes sure they get full! (Matthew 5:6)

Beggars at a ★★★★★ feast! 

By the way, here is your engraved invitation:

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
   come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.
–Is 55:1-2

*Scripture references: John 6:35, 51; John 7:37-38

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