(In The Life Of The Church)
Over the next six weeks we will be hearing from voices in within our community. The article will address the texts and themes from lent. Today we'll hear from Gerhard Stübben. Gerhard is working of his Master of Divinity from Truett.
Let everyone who thirsts come to the waters.
And whoever has no money: come, buy, and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk with no money and at no price.
Why do you weigh out your money for that which is not bread,
your toil for anything other than that which satisfies?
Listen, listen to me! Eat what is good and delight yourself with rich food.
“Delighting yourself with rich food” is not most people’s idea of Lent. Lent is a time when we give up, when we sacrifice (why? to whom?), when we emphatically do not “delight ourselves with rich food.” Lent is the fast, and Easter is the feast. Easter is the time for “rich food.” So why do we read this text during Lent? Why is this the text for the third Sunday in Lent? Because we don’t understand what “rich food” is.
Isaiah was writing to a community whose palettes were misadjusted. A community who thought that life, that joy, that rich food was found outside of their god. Outside of their god’s provision. They thought that they had to go around, even against, their god’s provision and instruction to find the rich food they craved. They thought that if they worshipped other gods then those other gods would give them the things they so desperately wanted. Things like safety and economic stability and large families. They thought that if they lived outside, even against, Yahweh’s commands that they would acquire for themselves the things that they so desperately wanted. Things like safety and economic stability and large families. Their instinct, their palette, told them that if they wanted rich food then they’d have to break some commands to get it. That idolatry, that oppression, that other gods tasted richer than their own. But they were wrong. And so are we.
We ourselves are tempted, tempted often, to go looking for rich food in off-limits places. We think that life will be sweeter, safer, with bigger bank accounts. And so we break Jesus’ command to give to the poor. We think that using violence will keep us safe from the violence of others, either verbal or physical violence, and so we break Jesus’ command not to resist evil persons. We smell the sweet scent of safety and economic stability and unity within our families, all good things in themselves, and we think the only way to get to that rich food is by breaking, or at least bending, Jesus’ commands. We ourselves, our literal selves, and not just other Christians around us, find ourselves in the position of the ancient Israelites, drinking from cisterns that do not hold water. And yet all the time Jesus is reminding us, is calling us: “Listen, listen to me! Eat what is good and delight yourself with rich food.” Now, in Lent, we train ourselves to listen.
There will be no Sunday School on the first and second Sundays of spring break. March 6th and March 13th.
We really need help with more greeters. if this is something you'd be willing to do, that would help us out. interested people should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Booth Crew Orientation
if you signed up to help out in the booth crew, first we'd like to say that we are extremely grateful. Secondly, we'd like to inform you that there will be a training on the computer this Sunday right after church. You are the best.
Ecumenical Lent Services
As you may have noticed i have included this announcement over the last couple weeks and will continue to do so until these services expire. That being said I'd like to give a special plug to the service this coming Wednesday because it will be in our own backyard. UBC will be host Austin Nickles and people from all churches as we worship together.