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Fuel Your Faith

Susan Zork at dinner table with friends and family

No excuses are necessary; food brings us together. Think of how many first-dates food has facilitated. Food is basic to the human experience. We regularly commemorate our very existence, or at least the day we were born, with cake and ice cream. Let’s face it; food provides a natural way to celebrate life, foster acceptance and cultivate friendships. Of course, food is fuel for the body, but it is also fuel for a God-designed way of connecting with the human soul.

I was amazed the first time I read Exodus 24:9-11. A little background will be helpful. The place is Mt. Sinai and Israel is in the middle of being given extraordinary and specific instruction on how to function and behave. God has arranged the gathering. He has invited Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the 70 leaders up the mountain for a little "heart to heart." Clearly, God prefers a "hands-on" approachable type of relationship. But His sheer presence is overwhelming. His inherent glory is more than they can imagine or physically endure. In other Biblical stories God reduces Himself to vapor and smoke in order to come close. But here in Exodus 24, He stands on a "pavement of sapphire," not fully disclosed but undeniably God, and yet "they were not destroyed."

God has once again found a way to diminish His immanent magnificence in order to be close and connected. God’s desire to interact with humanity is greater than His glory. His infinite grace is even more natural to His character than His holy splendor. They stood in the presence of God and lived to tell the story. But the surprise of this text is in verse 11 when it says, "They saw God and they ate and drank." They actually shared a meal on the top of the mountain that day.

I am struck with the profound reality of sharing food with God. It is a practice as old as Israel’s beginnings. Martha knew Jesus’ favorite meals. And we all sing in anticipation of sitting at the banquet table stretched out before the throne of God.

One of the most significant ways I have come to know precious students and colleagues is to experience sweet fellowship and inspired conversations over a Sabbath meal.

The story of Exodus 24 reminds me that the experience of knowing God is as real and tangible as a plate of food. Surely, one way to fuel your faith and begin to live the life that God desires is to share a meal together in the sweet and delicious presence of God.

- Susan Zork

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