October is a month in which food comes to the top of the list. In Stone the food and drink festival draws our attention to exotic foods and taste sensations. New things may not interest everyone, but clearly so many of us enjoy experimenting that shops and suppliers are never idle! Chefs continue to face the challenge of putting together new combinations to delight their customers whether around the home table or at a restaurant. Yet such great smelling foods and drinks often disappoint the tongue, promising the nose so much but delivering so little.
So, why is it that foods often have the most wonderful smell, but prove so disappointing to the taste? The scientific reason is that about 80% of what we think of as taste actually reaches us through taste receptors in the nose. How we taste something is determined by what we smell. What we smell can come either from what we inhale from the environment (we sniff a tasty dish of food) or from the aroma that occurs when we swallow (the aroma reaches the nasal passage).
There is a more profound reason which we are invited to discover more about. The Bible teaches us that all the things we enjoy in this life are but a hint of a far greater reality found in God. So, we read, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that takes refuge in him” (Ps 34v8). Knowing God is possible through his Son Jesus Christ and this relationship is a good one – a pleasant and joyful experience. The Bible goes further in describing how we can spend money, time and effort on things that ultimately disappoint our deeper longings. True satisfaction comes from engaging with God: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live” (Isa 55v1-3).
Is this something that you know as true? If the answer is ‘yes’ then the Autumn term provides a new opportunity to develop this relationship. If the answer is ‘no’ then I would like to encourage you to taste and see that the Lord is good. We are running ‘Christianity Explored’ course, which covers the basics and helps us to discover this amazing relationship with God. The food we serve will be basic, but a truly satisfying engagement with God is available. If you thirst to know more of God then either this course or our Sunday meetings to help us know and be known by the living God.