Last week, I was scrolling through my social media feed and saw a familiar sight. A parent had posted a video of their baby’s first bite of cake. As is customary for many households, this little birthday boy was put in a highchair and presented a small cake made just for him. Friends and family gathered around the table, pulled out their phones to record, and then cheered him on as happy spectators. Right on cue, the inquisitive child stuck his hand in the cake, felt the sticky icing, and brought it to his lips. A smile came across his face as he looked to his parents with eyes of excitement and perhaps even disbelief over how good it tasted, and then he jumped right back in for another big handful. Most of us have been in that kind of room. We have watched our children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews experience their first taste of sugar. While I’m sure every child’s reaction was unique, I would also dare say every reaction shared common ground. I would guess none of your kids spit out their first dessert and gave up on sugar for the rest of their lives. Instead, I would suspect they tasted and saw that it was good, and that goodness led them to a lifetime of coming back for more.
David tells us, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8 ESV). The verb for “taste” was commonly used in the Old Testament in a literal sense, but here David beautifully applies that same word as a metaphor. When he says “taste” the Lord, he is instructing his readers to come and have their own personal experience with Him. A child can watch other people eat cake all day, but he will only experience its goodness if he exercises the faith to try it for himself. In the same way, you will never know the goodness of the Lord until you take that step of faith to personally encounter Him. We can certainly learn about God and observe His beauty from a far, but David says blessed is the man who personally takes refuge in Him.
As we journey through these New Testament encounters with Jesus Christ, I hope you do not miss out on having your own personal encounter with Him. I would never advise someone to watch baking shows and never actually try cake. Nor would I advise someone to go to church, but never experience Jesus in their own life. God wants us to experience His presence in a personal way, and the good news is He wants us to keep coming back for more each day. When a child eats cake for the first time, that bite is not meant to be his last. It is meant to be the first bite of many more to come over the course of his lifetime. In the same way, God wants His children to keep coming back for more grace each day. Perhaps you encountered Jesus in the past, but are you still taking refuge in Him? If not, today would be a great day to taste and see that the Lord is still good. Worship Him this week. Speak to Him as a friend because He is (Cf. John 15:15). Share your heart and concerns, hear His voice through the Word, and receive the peace and joy that can only come from walking with Him (Cf. Philippians 4:6-7)
As we continue in our series, I encourage you to invite others to join you on Sundays. As we saw in last week’s sermon, lives can truly be changed when burdened friends commit to bring their loved ones to Jesus. Many assume that their friends and peers would never go to church. Some of this is for good reason, as George Barna discovered in his research that sadly only 30% of millennials and Gen Z are active in any form of faith. But he also discovered that about 80% of those polled said they would be open to attending a church if they were personally invited. The truth is many of our friends, colleagues, neighbors, and even family members have never tasted and seen that the Lord is good, but data also says they are willing to giving it a try. Worshipping with the body of Christ is great way for them to receive that first taste. I encourage you to prayerfully consider who you can bring with you and boldly invite them to be your personal guest. Additionally, our Savior Oratorio concert will be an amazing opportunity to bring friends with you this weekend. The 6pm concert will feature our choir, orchestra, and special musical guests, Veritas and Lindsey Graham. We will also be blessed to have Lindsey singing with us this weekend in our Sunday morning worship services.
Take some time to taste and see that the Lord is good this week, and come ready to worship on our special Senior Recognition Sunday. Let there be light in your life this week, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.
Onward and upward,