|Picture courtesy of Birdbrook Farm|
When we compare something fresh from a garden versus something canned from a grocery store, the item from the garden wins hands down when it comes to full, rich flavor. Certainly, planting and tending a garden requires a good deal of effort, but the results are worth it. For the most part, my mother did all the work of tending the garden, but we were blessed with the abundance it produced.
As I thought about this today, I wondered to myself why we as Christians do not more fully appreciate the sweet, fragrant Word of God we hear preached in our churches on Sunday. It is a banquet to which we have been invited, and as the Word is proclaimed, our souls are fed and readied for a new week ahead. We are able to partake of this fresh food which our pastors have labored over in prayer during the week. Nothing is more delectable, edifying, fulfilling, or blessed than to eat from the Lord's table. All we have to do is show up and partake. Yet, there are those who prefer to feed on "canned" food. They may listen to someone preach on the radio or on a podcast, but it is not the same as sitting in the company of believers and hearing afresh the Gospel preached.
Perhaps, we do not realize how much the Word changes us in our hearts and thinking when we hear it preached. Hebrews 4:12 reads: "For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." It is good food! We become healthy when we eat it, and our pastors are blessed to prepare weekly in giving us this rich Word.
Speaking from experience, my family enjoyed the time of planting, cultivating and harvesting our garden. My mother cooked it, and we sat down to enjoy and savor the bounty that God provided. It is no different than the church. We are a family there, and when we come together, sit under the preaching of the Gospel, and experience worship together, our lives are changed. May we never neglect eating at the banquet table of the Lord weekly. Likewise, we need to pray for our pastors who labor diligently to study and present God's Word to build up believers. They are a gift to the Body of Christ, and we need to thank them for their faithful service. These men bring us a fresh harvest from God's garden each week. So I ask you, which do you prefer? Canned or home grown? Selah!
Picture of people gathered to eat is courtesy of www.grassfedexpress.com