I went to church today, “Easter” Sunday to some, “Resurrection” Sunday to others, and afterwards was able to go out to eat with my wonderful wife at a local Applebee’s restaurant. I had not been to an Applebee’s in over a year and prior to that occassion it may have been several years. I planned on ordering the cajun talapia, but when I reached the back of the menu discovered a 2 for $20 special that included two entrees with a choice of appetizers.
One of the appetizers was Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks. I suggested this to my wife whose expression told me she wasn’t quite thrilled with that choice; however, to her credit, she didn’t argue or even offer an alternate suggestion – she would share the cheese sticks with me if that’s what I wanted, and I did, so we then moved on to ordering the entree’s.
After we placed our orders, we began to talk and my mind went elsewhere until suddenly the waiter arrived at the table with our appetizer. I was happy to indulge, dipping the warm, breaded Mozzarella into the cool marinara sauce on the side. “Do you know how long it’s been since I had cheese sticks?” I rhetorically questioned aloud. “I remember back in the late 80’s when they were really popular and I used to order them all the time!”
The appetizer was plentiful, so not wanting to spoil my appetite, I had perhaps 2 or 3 cheese sticks, saving the rest to take home. Once I was back, watering the plants outside the house, I thought about a friend of mine who may have celebrated Easter today, rather than Jesus and His resurrection. I wondered what I could or should say to this person who appears to no longer follow our Lord and Savior. I thought of another old friend who has left God behind in order to embrace the things of this world and indulge in the lusts of the flesh. An imperfect analogy then began to take shape in my mind.
Many people today have a Mozzarella Cheese Stick relationship with Jesus.
At one time, years ago, they loved their Mozzarella cheese sticks. They would gladly go out of their way, perhaps once a week, to have them. They would anticipate their arrival, enjoy them once they did, and it always seemed to put a smile on their face. It took some time and money but it was worth it. It could have been a social thing, a popular thing, a fad, that also met a very real need and hunger; however, over time that all seemed to go away.
Now, some people don’t even think about ordering cheese sticks. That was then and this is now. Maybe they’ll go along with someone else who’s all excited … once a year or less, perhaps … because there are other things to occupy their mind, and satiate their hungry appetites.
Yet Jesus was never meant to be an appetizer before the entree of life. Instead, He identified himself as the very bread of life, meant to satisfy our unsatiable hunger, as well as the wellspring of life, meant to quench our thirsting soul.
Jesus is not a fad because He has stood the test of time for the past 2000 years. The holy scripture compels each one of us to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Jesus is recorded as saying “Come unto me all you who labor, and are weary, and I will give you rest.” Does that include you?
There is only One who can truly satisfy your hungry, thirsting soul, but that satisfaction does not come from an occassional visit and a small social sample. It comes from allowing Jesus to truly become your daily bread.
Remember: “Take, eat, this is my body, broken for you.” said Jesus, the night before He was betrayed, beaten, and crucified for you.