I love food. Perhaps too much so. And without going too far into the pathology of why I love food so much, I really enjoy a good buffet most of all.
In order to be a “good” buffet, it has to meet three criteria: 1. Have food I love, 2. Have food that’s well prepared, and 3. Have a lot of it – abundance!
That’s why I love going on a cruise: it is basically an ongoing buffet on a boat. Yeah, the entertainment is okay and the scenery is nice; but it’s the food that makes a cruise a cruise for me.
The problem with buffets is that they’re not good for my health. So I rarely ever go to a buffet anymore (sniff!)
But I understand that Heaven will have a buffet! Actually, it’s called a banquet (Songs 2:4) or a feast (Rev 19:9). It’s one of the perks of being in Heaven. My friends and I argue what kind of food will be served in Heaven, like “will there be Tommy Burgers?” (I hope so. For those of you outside of So Cal, Tommy’s makes the best chili burgers in the world.) Or “will Heaven’s buffet be basically a salad bar, because no animals should be killed?” (As much as I can empathize with animals, a “vegan” heaven doesn’t sound like heaven to me – just saying)
One of my whole life worship friends has a different view of God’s buffet. He believes that God’s banquet table is not one of “physical food,” but a buffet of what we really need for fueling “Kingdom life”:
Warming pans piled high with “faith.” Large bowls filled with “truth and grace.” Mounds and mounds of “mercy.” Fountains flowing with “God’s presence.” Carving boards filled with roasts of “spiritual power.” Endless dispensers of “joy.” And, the piece de resistance: a never-ending abundance of “unconditional love.”
Great food, prepared well, and a lot of it!
This is the food that enables us to fulfill the most fulfilling acts we can ever do – the will of God. Jesus gave us a foretaste (no pun intended) of this paradigm in John 4:34 when He said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
There have been times (and many of you can relate to this) where I am so caught up in doing what God has called me to do, that actually I forget to eat (and that’s something that rarely happens to me, just ask my wife and close friends). When I am fueled by the Spirit with supernatural love, grace, joy, truth, and the like, a prime rib or cheesecake really isn’t that appealing anymore. Nothings satisfies than the true food from Heaven.
I also like this view of God’s banquet table because it reminds us that such an abundance of spiritual food is available to us now. While Heaven is a reality that will be complete in the future, it is also a reality that is breaking through in the present. And those who worship God with their whole lives are the ones who experience Heaven’s banquet today. We’ve tasted and seen the goodness of Heavenly food.
So as we live our lives for God, do we avail ourselves to the buffet He provides for us? When we need more empowerment, grace, unconditional love, or faith to sustain us in the Christ-led walk, where do we go? Do we simply try to muster up more of our own strength and ingenuity or do we approach God in humility, surrender and dependency?
“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4)