The Sense of Taste (January 18, 2012)

…Opening To…

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

…Listening In…

Your word is so pleasing to my taste buds—it’s sweeter than honey in my mouth! (Psalm 119:103; context)

…Filling Up…

Scripture is filled with images of tasting, which is our third of the five senses for this week of devotions. Both Ezekiel and John of Patmos eat scrolls with words from God written on them. They taste like honey. Actually, tasting like honey is a big deal in the Bible. In Psalm 19, the Lord’s judgments taste like honey, as does the Lord’s word in Psalm 119. In Exodus, the manna that the Israelites eat in the wilderness tastes like honey as well.

Pair these descriptions with the notion of tasting of God. Psalm 34 invites us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter assumes we have already done so and reached the same conclusion about God’s savory quality. Honey does, indeed, taste good. I put it in tea to sweeten up the Earl Grey.

But think about the claim we are making whenever we reference these pieces of the Bible. We say that tasting the Lord is good. Therefore, the claim we make is that the Lord is like food, and not just any food, but food that tastes as good as honey. We really should eat food every day to stay healthy; sadly, not everyone in the world has that opportunity. When we don’t eat, we become malnourished. The same is true when we fail to taste of God. We become malnourished spiritually and forget what it is like to be full of the Lord, to have the honey of God’s word dripping from our lips.

But remember that God tastes good. God makes it desirable for us to come to the table for our meal. There’s no wonder that Holy Communion is a feast that we do often – we physically taste of the bread and spiritually taste of the binding and weaving movement of God. (Now I know many of us use the thin, disc-like wafers that don’t taste like much of anything at all, but just go with me here.) So taste and see that the Lord is good. Fill your belly with the word of God that tastes sweeter than honey dripping from the comb.

You may develop a sweet tooth, but it’s a sweet tooth for God, so your dentist won’t complain.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you have given me a sense of taste to experience more fully those good things that nourish my body. Help me to savor your word as I would savor my favorite food. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, ready to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell your presence, that I may be more aware of your movement in my life.

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