Monday, September 5, 2011


Emily's cheesecake. Her dark, velvety, decadent devil's food cake. Reuben and Martha's caramel pie. Mom's dutch apple pie. Grammy's chocolate chess pie. Helen's brownies.

On the very rare occasion that I get to eat out at a restaurant, I have no difficulty turning down dessert. When you've got desserts this fantastic at home, everything else is doomed to be a disappointment. The lemon icebox pie that everyone raves about at the local diner? Eeeeew. The chocolate lava cake at our one upscale restaurant? Gooey, but where's the chocolate intensity? Where desserts are concerned, my family has spoiled me. Home-made truly is as good as it gets. And once you've had the good stuff, everything else is just a waste of calories - may be pretty on the plate, but it will be flat on the palate.

Not entirely unlike worship.

Yesterday evening, J.K. introduced a new hymn to our congregation - "O Thou That Hear'st When Sinners Cry." Familiar tune, new words. Rich, savory, soul-edifying words. Six verses, and it was a delight to sing them all. Glancing at the bottom of the page, I wasn't surprised to discover this was another jewel penned by the master hymn writer Isaac Watts, a man peculiarly gifted at setting deep theological truths to music. Taste this stuff, and singing "Shine, Jesus, Shine" suddenly feels more like a Pop Tart binge.

The Word of God, preached clearly, boldly, unapologetically. Some of it encouraging, some of it sobering; some driving us to brokenness and repentance, other passages, to doxology. All of it ringing with the majesty and holiness and glory of God, with the great mercy He has shown us in Christ, with the claim and the high calling He has placed on each of us as His children. Rich, savory, soul-edifying preaching and teaching. Taste this stuff, and "Your Best Life Now" takes on the flavor of a bologna sandwich, without the mustard...may satisfy a craving, but it doesn't provide any substantial nourishment.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). I heard it explained once that the language used in this passage referred to "touching the palate." In other words, a Hebrew mother would take a small amount of soft food and touch it to her young child's palate, thus developing in him an appetite for certain kinds of food, an appetite and a preference that would continue with the individual throughout his life. Given the strict dietary regulations and the necessity of being able to distinguish between clean and unclean foods, it's easy to see why this would be an important part of a Hebrew child's education.

O, that God would give us, His children, discerning palates, that we would be satisfied with nothing less than knowing Him as He has revealed Himself in his Word. With nothing less than worshiping Him with all our hearts and souls and minds and strength. O, that we would be satisfied with nothing less than Himself.

1 comment:

J. K. Jones said...

"Shine Jesus Shine" as a pop-tart binge. LOL. Priceless.