Tree of Life – Level 1, Lesson 6: Feast 2
Lord, be with the ministers of Thy table, who serve to Thy children the Feast of the flesh and blood of Christ Jesus – that all may become, not merely like unto him, but actually part of his living body, here and now!
Let us not fatten up Thy congregation unto complacency with the misguided fare of self-indulgence, or pseudo-spiritual food; but let us give them of Thy true nourishment, which worketh unto wholeness and perfection of function, that they may better perform Thy mission, in vigor and strength.
Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” He did not mean feed their self-satisfaction as church-goers with the spiritual candy of flattery – neither to get them so bogged-down with their own fatness of self-importance that they would become valueless as Christ’s servants.
Let us rather give them the real nourishment of Truth, and feed their hunger with “wholiness” and the Seed of Health, curing their indifference with the vitality of involvement in Christ. Let them be nourished with his Love, his Grace, and his Word.
Let not our spiritual service become a “habit” of schedule and form, to make an appearance for appearances’ sake, always there on time; neither just to greedily gulp down any religious fare in sight, just because it’s there and we enjoy it.
True, new students are as little children, and “have to” come to the table every time, and partake, under discipline. But let their servant at that table, their teacher or priest, make sure the food served is not mere warmed-over scraps, neither all sizzling with spice – but let them serve that healthful food which will bring forth their perfectness, giving them Balance, as their part in Christ.
Do you ministers stuff your congregation with the pastries or platitudes, and the hors d’oeuvres of intellectuality? These are all right for embellishing the meal. But God’s Truth is the real meat, and His instructions the vegetables which are always for your benefit.
If you follow after these things, the fruits of attainment cannot be far off, for all sustained and faithful effort must be rewarded.
He who endures to the end shall inherit a crown.
Do you admonish them because it’s expected of a minister, with great flourishes of dramatic speech, while secretly chuckling with delight at the great show you are putting on for their benefit – playing the “heavy”? After the sermon is over, they’ll shake your hand and compliment you on a bang-up speech – but do they change? Or have they witnessed a good show? Broken up the weekly routine?
Or do you still worse hurl fire and brimstone upon them, threaded with fear and damnation, to the point of driving them forth from what should have been God’s house (not yours), into the street, hopeless at the fate in store, with no place left to turn – not even the assurance of a loving God?
The only alternative to hell offered in cases like this is go align themselves with the hell-and- damnation shouters, a fate which hardly seems the less of two evils. They’d rather take their chances on living now, and to gamble that the day of accounting at the end of the road is far enough distant that by the time they arrive there they’ll have thought out an answer, or way out.
There is a way out without the gamble, which is up to you to teach. They don’t have to condemn everyone to death, or join those who do. They can live, and follow the Christ, become one with him and live as he lived, loving, giving, doing. His joy was full in God. He knew God loved him, and he loved in return. Loving God, he also loved his fellow man, and acted thereupon.
His sharp speech was to those who taunted, and tried to trap him, who would not listen to the Truth. He did not go about indiscriminately threatening people.
Let us, as true ministers, invite them to the True Feast, the Lamb of God which was slain for us, and the Marriage Feast even now being prepared.
IT ALL BELONGS TO HIM
As each event or person comes along –
Unbidden – see it not as bleak or wrong,
Or fraught with weed or thorn.
Let not the burn of critic, nor the blast
Of cold, hard doubt to wither Good Unborn,
Hid like a Seed therein, by God’s own Hand.
But seize each happening, and make it blessings yield!
Proclaim potential Good, and dedicate the field.
Acknowledge but the Best, and cultivate its Root,
Hovering over it with love, lest others blight.
Give full Attention to the unseen Light.
That God may reap His Spirit’s fruit
In this which He designed. This is your chance.
Less evidence brings greater exercise of faith.
Rejoice and welcome oppor-tunes to “dance,”
To co-create with Him, through care
In thought and work – Divine Results to share.