SERMON FODDER: Do we come to God’s table having already spoiled our appetite?

We can come quite full to God’s table, well-satisfied and be too full of what we call life and so do not feel drawn to this kind of refreshment. -Gillick

Wow! This quote hit me like a ton of bricks. I am preparing my sermon for Sunday, and come across this in reference to Matthew 14.13-21–the feeding of the five thousand. While it attempts to hit upon a secondary plot to the story, it is nonetheless extremely appropriate for our personal, spiritual experience with God.

Have you ever come away from an encounter with God (i.e. Sunday morning worship, bible study, etc.) feeling no more different than you did when you arrived? I am certainly not saying that the point of spiritual exercise and discipline is to come away feeling different–having achieved a sort of “spiritual high.” I am saying that we should pay attention to what we are doing to fulfill our appetites, so we may be hungry for that which is truly worth craving. When we let our earthly desires become too large a portion of what it is we do, we can destroy our desire for the things of God. This leads to a feeling of “blah” or emptiness when it comes to our attempts to encounter God.

Your mother warned you against snacking on junk food at the risk of spoiling your appetite. I guess I am warning you to save your hunger for the things of God. In the end, it is certainly much more refreshing–and it’s better for you.

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