Taste and see - that is my thought of the day. We have had a taste of spring this last week and weekend. It was enough to get all our thoughts moving to this next, wondrous season of new life. The warm weather made us long to sit on our porch, to walk down the road, to dig up the earth for the garden, to go out and watch some baseball, to long for warmer days. Yes, it gave us a taste and now that we have had a taste, we want more! We don't want this cold weather (as if 40 degrees is cold!). We want it to remain in the 60's and 70's only to move into the nice summer weather. We want more!
I thought about that in two ways: 1) Isn't that the way that temptation and sin work? 2) That is the way that we should be with the Lord.
Temptation and sin give us just a little taste so that we want more. Pornography works that way. Start soft, with just a tease on a TV show or in a movie. Just enough to want more. Then it begins to build as more and more is needed to satisfy. Drugs and alcohol are the same way. Taste and see what it can do for you! It can make you feel so good. It is freeing! Sexual activity is that way for the young, unmarried person with a boyfriend/girlfriend or for the older, married person with a spouse and a girlfriend/boyfriend on the side. Taste and see how good it can be, how pleasurable, etc. And a little taste leads to wanting more.
Unfortunately, unlike our desire for spring, these kind of "taste and see" leads to destruction. Pornography destroys relationships. Drugs and alcohol destroy lives. Premarital sex destroys the sanctity of the sexual relationship in marriage (and leads to crisis pregnancy, STD, abortion and abuse). Extramarital sex destroys relationships and families. And in the end, they all lead to the same place - away from the Lord. Any sinful activity is wrong - even if it feels "right." Why? Because the Lord has told us that very thing. We may not like it. We may want to change it. But the fact remains - sin is sin, no matter how we want to package it. We might quell our conscience into accepting that it is all right (like society does with same sex relationships) but it is still wrong before the Lord. Nothing good comes from the sinful "taste and see" attitude.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. His love is wondrous. To have a taste of that love is fabulous. To know the grace that loves you despite your sinfulness and your rotten behavior is beyond explanation. To taste the love that is given in the Supper of our Lord, the body and blood of Christ, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins - it is a feast fit for a king yet that is given to the beggar.
Why is is that we love the taste of sin and despise the taste of grace? Why do we love to have a feast of sinful behavior and activity and yet we want only a a morsel or less of the love of Christ? Why do we immerse ourselves into that which destroys and run in fear from that which saves? It is because we are sinful. It is easier to run from God than to be embraced by Him. It is easier to curse God than to praise Him.
It is only by the working of the Holy Spirit, working through Word and Sacrament, that this all changes. Once He has worked that change in our hearts, we suddenly taste His goodness, as for the 1st time, and we want more. We want more love, more grace, more comfort, more of His presence in our lives, more of Him each and every day.
Taste and see - what do you desire? Are you desiring the Lord and His goodness? Are you following Him and the life He has laid before you? If not, ask yourself why not? It isn't the Lord's fault. The fault - lies within you, your heart, your life. He desires you. May your heart and life be opened to Him!