O taste and see that the Lord is good!
At Vacation Bible School this week, kids and volunteers have been hearing a message repeated: God provides.
Centered in Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we’ve listened to all kinds of Bible stories about God providing good food for hungry people. We’ve learned about the connection between taste and smell, raced to eat donuts off a string, made a picture frame, and laughed at the many bearded Bible characters. Of course, there’s also music! In the theme song, we hear the words, “Come taste and see that the Lord is good!”
After, one of the kids said to me, “I get that we can see how God is good. But taste? That must be a mistake.” (As an aside, I am so grateful for kids being willing to ask what they wonder about. We get to learn and explore faith together that way!)
Back to the question: can we taste that God is good? What does God’s goodness taste like?
The first night at VBS, we heard about manna (in the morning) and quail (every night). In case you don’t know that story, here’s a summary: after God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, they followed Moses into the desert. There, they got hungry and started to complain to Moses, in the first recorded instance of “hangry.” Moses complained to God, who promised to send manna and quail into the wilderness for the people to eat. Manna was a flaky cracker that tasted like honey.
Can you imagine how good that crisp honey wafer must have tasted on the first morning it appeared? How the Israelites must have praised God when they tasted it! Taste this manna and see that the Lord is good.
The next night, we heard a story about the prophet Elijah and a generous widow from Zarephath, a city outside of Israel. There was a drought throughout the land, and God sent Elijah from Israel to Zarephath. When he arrived, Elijah asked the widow for some water and bread to eat. She retorted that she had only enough flour and oil for one last meal to share with her son before they ran out of food and starved. Elijah asked her to trust God and share the bread with him. She did—and the flour and oil lasted until the drought was over.
Just picture their wonder and joy as God provided enough food for the days of drought. Wouldn’t each bite remind them of God’s goodness? Taste this bread and see that the Lord is good.
Later in the week, we heard about the time when a great big crowd of people gathered on a grassy green field to listen to Jesus. When mealtime came, they were hungry. The disciples panicked, but Jesus knew what to do. A little boy shared his meal, five loaves of barley bread and two fish. As Jesus gave the food to the people, there was enough for five thousand people to eat, with baskets full leftover.
Can you just picture those five thousand people who came hungry to hear Jesus and left filled with bread of barley and bread of life? How good that fish must have tasted for that hungry crowd! Taste this fish and this bread and see that the Lord is good.
This morning, I sat down with a fresh brewed cup of coffee, a cheesy omelet, and a bowl of raspberries. The rich coffee, the savory omelet, and the juicy raspberries each showed me how good God is, to give us a world where such delicious variety is available for us. I tasted the goodness of God.
God, you give us our senses, and through each of them you reveal your goodness. Help me to taste your goodness in fresh fruits and vegetables, sweet desserts, savory entrees, and salty snacks. I will taste and see that you, o Lord, are good. Amen.