Choosing to Starve
When Invited to a Banquet
You have been invited to a banquet…weekly. The Table has been prepared. You do not need to bring anything but yourself and your family.
This is no ordinary invitation. This is not an invitation to join some at a fast-food joint but to come and dine with a King and His Son and all His children. This is the feast that feeds you continually. In fact, you may come at any time you want. This is a feast enough to satisfy your deepest hunger and you may come freely. The door is opened to all. Come and eat. Come and drink freely.
Imagine this type of banquet prepared for you all the time. Imagine now, that you are starving, weak and sickly. What would you do? The banquet is there for you to fill you, strengthen you and heal you.
Imagine now that you decide you don’t need that food or drink and you’re okay with starving because, after all, who needs food to live? Who needs a drink to live? Imagine yourself rejecting this and literally dying of starvation and dehydration.
I think we’d all agree that this scenario is hard to imagine; sick, weak and starving people abjectly rejecting a banquet of food and drink that will satisfy, heal and strengthen them. I think we might call them foolish for rejecting such a gift that is free. We might think them arrogant and prideful that they must come to another to live instead of starving. We might question their understanding that here they are starving and there is food enough to satisfy.
Or is this scenario that hard to imagine. Not at all. Many Christians, across the large swath of denominations, reject the banquet in which Jesus lays out for His children food and drink which satisfied and heals, forgive us our sins and strengthens our faith.
They do not attend the Divine Service and they are not fed on the Bread and Wine, the True Body and Blood of our Lord. Granted, most evangelicals reject that Christ is truly present, in with and under the bread and wine, but that doesn’t mean He is not there. Yet, the still reject, willingly, the gifts of God in the Lord’s Supper.
This topic, of not partaking of the Lord’s Supper regularly, came up in our Ladies Bible Study this week and then again in the Adult Bible Study the following evening. In the Ladies' study we were looking at the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Where is this righteousness found? In Christ Jesus by grace through faith. So, we are to hunger and thirst. That’s what I was struck with. Here Christ gifts us the most valuable gift ever, salvation, righteousness, and life, and He does it in the Bread/True Body (food) and Wine/True Blood (drink).
This hunger and thirst are, as we learned, in the present tense. This is not a onetime hungering and thirsting. It is supposed to be the way you feel all the time, every day, moment by moment. The question in the study was: Why must this hungering and thirsting for righteousness be continual? Answer: If we are not eating and drinking physically we die. In the same way, if we are not hungering and thirsting for the righteousness of God, and not our own, we can spiritually die.