Many a mother and father have told their children to stop snacking so close to dinner time because they will ruin their dinner. Now the dinner itself will be fine. However, the child’s appetite will be satisfied with snack food rather than a full and more complete dinner meal. When it comes time to eat, they will not be hungry. At the same time, they will miss out on a good dinner made with love.
In some ways, God is like a mother or a father preparing a meal for their children. God desires to fill our lives with the richness of his love and grace, which will bring purpose to our living. God seeks to offer every person a relationship with God to satisfy our deepest desire in life; a life with purpose. The problem is that we attempt to find that meaning and purpose by snacking on the poor substitutes that the world offers.
In the book of the prophet Isaiah, God invites the people of Israel to come to him for life. In Isaiah 55: 1-3, we read,
Listen, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
God was offering a divine invitation to feast on life. At the same time, God challenged the people not to ruin their dinner by seeking meaning and purpose in life from that which ultimately cannot provide it. God knows that we will try to find fulfillment in life from other people, wealth, power, pleasure, popularity, and work. It is not that these things are not essential or cannot bring happiness, but when they become the sole source of our nourishment, we will never be fully satisfied.
Instead, God invites us to feast on the meal which he provides. In Jesus, God offers us the true bread of life. Jesus would say in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” In Jesus, we are invited to God’s great banquet, where we partake of the richness of God’s love, mercy, and grace. It is the only meal that can satisfy our hunger and bring meaning and purpose to our lives. We don’t have to settle for the world’s junk food or go through life snacking in attempting to find the purpose for our living. No, in Jesus, we receive the full course of God’s best supper, where we will never leave the table hungry.