For those of you who have just joined us –welcome. Let me explain the things us ramblers are chatting about. We are looking at the way God is bringing us from an old culture into a kingdom culture. To help us do this we are looking at the Philippine culture and seeing what God is saying to us through it.
Mmmm where shall I begin talking about food from the Philippines? – it is truly delicious. Such different flavours that the ones I am used to. It is a mixed cuisine of Malay, Spanish, Chinese, and American, as well as other Asian and Latin influences adapted to indigenous ingredients and the local palate. There are classic dishes that I have tried (and loved) such as Adobo (chicken and/or pork braised in garlic, vinegar, oil and soy sauce) which is made differently by different families and in the various regions, kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), longanisa (sausage), paellas , pancit (noodles), and lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls). One of my favourites is deep fried mini crabs in batter. The fish is fresh and juicy, the fruits are sweet and ripe. They have limes in the Philippines, small like large cherry tomatoes but sweeter than our oranges.
When I am there I find myself trying anything people give me – just to experience and learn about the different tastes. Even when I thought I had eaten enough I simply have to make more room in my stomach to enjoy something else being offered.
In the kingdom culture there is a banquet. It is overflowing. We can see it in Psalms 23
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
Perhaps we have been too polite, perhaps we have gorged on other things that are not healthy and have no room left for heavenly sustenance – have we only picked around the edges? Surely we have only tasted a handful of what is on the banquet table. The flavours, the colours, the juices, the sauces, the fruit – my goodness can you see it, can you smell it? It looks a little like those overflowing tables in Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
The other exciting thing about this banquet is that we are not left alone to enjoy it. For those who have spent life outside the camp looking in, for those who have felt lonely and watched everyone else feast on the best of life, for those who feel unworthy to approach the king’s table – He approaches us, links arms with us, loves us, and escorts us in to eat. He never leaves us on our own but is excited to explore the experience with us. He hands us new flavours to try, makes suggestions on our choice of foods, advises us on which flavours blend harmoniously.
Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love.
Song of Songs 2:4
Make yourself hungry. Create hunger. Find space to taste more of God and his goodness. Taste and see that God is good. Find another truth so sweet to the lips lying on the table. Pull up your chair and take your time.
It is time to find books to devour. Podcasts to chew over. Bible passages that get your juices flowing. Then once you feel full – find some more space and keep eating.
We have been like children for too long. Letting others buy, prepare, cook and serve the food. We turn up on Sundays like baby birds shouting feed me. Feed me so I can cope another week, feed me so I can grow strong, feed me some medicine to make me feel better. In this kingdom culture we learn to grow up. We go out and collect the food, prepare the food and cook the food. We learn to cut our own food up and feed ourselves. We grow up into maturity
Today: What are you feasting on today? If you are not reading, listening to anything right now it is time to go out and collect your food. What are you going to get? Where will you get it from? Don’t wait till Sunday – be hungry now.