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Eating vegetables

by davesandel on March 1st, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thursday of the First Week of Lent

Matthew 7:9-11

Jesus is preaching, “Is there anyone among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread?  Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish?  If you, then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

God isn’t going to give me less than all of himself.  But I’m not quite as sure about giving all of myself to God.

What does that even mean?  I think for one thing, it means that whatever happens in my life, I trust that God will ultimately make it good.  Because God is love, I am loved at all times, at every moment in my life.  This goes far beyond any human measurement of emotion or well-being, and it’s not easy to grasp when, for example, a tornado has just demolished your home.

What else does it mean?  Giving all of myself to God also means reducing my demands, being far less specific about what I think is best for me.  If God hands me bread that I haven’t eaten before, I might think it’s a stone.  He might feed me with “living” fish, but I’ve always had it fried first.  Seems a little slippery on first glance.

Jesus asks us to believe our Father when he says, “I love you.”  Jesus asks me to trust that what God gives me will be good.  “Every good and perfect gift comes from above,” writes the James who might very well have been Jesus’ brother.  “Do not be afraid, little flock.  Your Father is delighted to give you his kingdom,” Jesus said.  Paul wrote, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.”  Peter says, “You have tasted that the Lord is good.”

There is bread that I would not recognize, and fish that might be hard for squeamish-American-me to eat.  But if God says it’s bread, then it’s bread.  If God says it’s fish, then it’s fish.  If God says it’s good, then it’s good.

I think that turning both my mind and my senses toward discerning the Godness of things is a part of worship, and it marks a fine start in finding the purpose of life.

Your goodness has been, is now, and ever will be.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.  And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord … for-ev-er!

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