16th July 2014

Tired of eating out of the Dustbin? We are Offered a Banquet

My experience over these many years with young people leads me to conclude that increasingly fewer youth would associate God with the satisfaction of a sumptuous banquet, and the pleasure of drugs, alcohol and free sex with the rotting food in a dustbin. Actually quite the opposite! For example, in Malta today the abuse of cannabis, cocaine and alcohol are increasingly commonplace.

Sadly Christianity has been experienced or presented as dull, irrelevant, antiquated and restrictive whilst today’s permissive culture as freeing, fun and fulfilling. At the same time, a good number of youth all over the world are concluding that the latter is not true either. But this does’t mean that they will turn to Jesus for the ‘bread of life’ and ‘living water’ He promises to all those who seek God with genuine hearts.

Maybe its because too many Christians are eating out of the dustbin too. Even if we have come to know Jesus, we are not immune from the lure of temptation and sin. Or because though they know that the decaying food the world presents has left them empty and sick, they cannot seem to let go of the addictions that now cling to them. Again this struggle is known by all in one way or another and only the Lord can free fallen man from its grips. Or perhaps no one has reached out to them and showed them the real menu. I’m sure there are numerous other reasons.

The Lord however longs to forgive and show mercy! Pentecost is about the banquet of God’s love being offered to us. It is a real experience of the closeness of God, His immense love and His freeing truth, whether this is sudden or gradual. And for those who have already encountered the Lord it is good to be reminded of the Scriptural words: live by the Spirit and do not gratify the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16). For those who have never really drawn close to God before but hunger and thirst for a banquet of joy and truth,  they too can come to experience the love of God poured into the hearts of those who choose to trust Him and to call upon Him. (Rom 5:5).

But this encounter is but just the beginning of walking with God. Whether you already do so, or you once did but have somehow lost the plot or you are seeking the Lord for the first time, call on His name, ask for forgiveness and this Pentecost pray from your heart: Come Holy Spirit. And by the way, who and what we choose to be led by is ultimately a matter of eternal life and death! Tired of eating out of the dustbin? We are being offered a banquet the fulness of which we will experience in heaven.