One of the greatest meals that I have ever eaten was in a wine cellar at Hotel Healdsburg in California. Perfect red meat, delightful company, and a distinctive setting. I will never forget that meal. But as I think about that meal almost 10 years ago, I can’t remember what I ate last Tuesday for dinner.
But most sermons are more like that Tuesday dinner that we can’t remember. Although we cannot recall the particular meal, we know that we ate.
Listening to the preached Word is a lot like eating a meal. Jesus believed this was true as he answered the tempter in the wilderness with the words of Deuteronomy, saying: “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” In John 21, Jesus also commissioned Peter around the fire with the words: “Feed my sheep.” Ezekiel speaks of eating the scroll, John speaks of eating the scroll in Revelation 10, and the Psalmist speaks of the pleasurable taste of God’s Word that is as sweet as honey.
God’s Word is food for us, and his preached Word in worship is a weekly meal for his people. Like meals, there are a few sermons that you will never forget because of where you were in life or the specific way in which it spoke to you. But most sermons are more like that Tuesday dinner that we can’t remember. Although we cannot recall the particular meal, we know that we ate. We were nourished and our lives were sustained because we enjoyed a routine PBJ.
As we come week in and week out to worship to hear God speak to us, our goal should be nourishment. We should arrive feeling confident that if we do not eat, we will be famished and hungry without health or strength. But as we gather, we know that God sustains our spiritual lives in more ways than we know through the preaching of his Word, whether it’s one of the many PBJs or a choice Healdsburg steak.
As we grow in Christ together, remember that if you ever enjoy an unforgettable meal in a sermon, compliments to the chef. And if you are given another PBJ, compliments to the chef. The one who preaches is just the server. Jesus is the chef. He prepares the meals, feeds his people, and knows exactly what we need as we come to him each Lord’s Day for food.
The dinner bell will ring on Sunday morning. He will nourish us through his Word. May we come ready to eat and sure that he will feed us.