I love the fact that Jonathan reads me all the best parts of his required seminary reading. Because of our life stage I can’t take advantage of the full spouse scholarship her at Covenant, but I feel that between the “listen to this!” moments and proofreading his papers, I’m getting a bit of an education myself. In his last class, Ecclesiology and Eschatology, one of his books was Given For You by Keith Mathison – a study of the reformed perspective on the Lord’s Supper. One of the “listen to this” excerpts was from page 299:
God always commands that only the best be offered to him as a sacrifice. Nothing unclean or unholy may ever be sacrificed to God. Yet God commands that he be offered [this] as a sacrifice. It is impossible, therefore, that [it] is inherently evil, unclean, or unholy.
Mathison is referring to the use of wine in the Lord’s Supper, but as Jonathan was reading it to me I realized that the principle would apply to all of the things the Lord had appointed for use as a sacrifice, and that made me a little uncomfortable. There are several societal taboos on the list of appointed sacrifices: red meat, fat, wine, and grain. It was that last one that made me squirm a little. Back in 2002 I jumped on the low carb bandwagon, lost a lot of weight and was the healthiest I had ever been. I fell off that bandwagon when I had my miscarriage in 2006, but I have held onto the perception that grain made me fat ever since.
The Lord used Mathison to show me that grain is not the problem. I have no right to declare as not permissible that which the Lord has declared holy enough to be presented to him in sacrifice. My sinful gluttony was (and is) the source of my problem not the grain which happens to be my idol of choice. It was humbling and convicting.
It also reminded me of how good God is, that he he made food delicious, not so that we would fight against the enjoyment, but so that we would praise the God who can make fresh corn taste like that! It is not an act of worship to cast aside his good gift as not good enough for me. Instead it is an act of worship to enjoy the good gift in moderation trusting that the powerful Creator of the Universe can make me more satisfied than that fourth bagel.