You Are What You Consume

When I was a kid, one of my favorite sweets to eat was a candy called Nerds, which are basically nothing but tiny pieces of color-coated sugar. One day when I was eating them at my childhood best friend’s house, my friend’s Dad commented, “You know what they say, you are what you eat!” At the age of nine or ten, being called a nerd was anything but a compliment, especially for one who was as into sports as much as I was!

There is truth, though, to the general sentiment of that comment. Our bodies digest the food we eat. The nutrients, or lack thereof, get incorporated into our bodies. But the truthfulness of the statement goes beyond just what we physically eat; hence the title of this month’s newsletter article.

The Hebrew verb “to eat” has a much broader sense than just chomping down on food with one’s teeth. The broader sense of “to eat” is “to consume.” We would not use the word “eat” to describe the way a fire causes destruction, for example. We would say a fire “consumes” everything in its path. In Hebrew, one single word includes this broader range of meaning!

The point of this month’s article is that you and I are what we consume, but not just what we eat. What are we reading? How do we entertain ourselves in our free time? What are we consuming with our five senses – our eyes, ears, nose, tongues, and touch? Most importantly, what are we consuming in our spiritual lives? The answers to those questions make up who we are.

Reading, listening to, or even singing bad theology – “consuming” it – in unorthodox worship will eventually turn someone into an unhealthy theologian themselves. We are what we consume. The positive side, or the Gospel, is that “consuming” God’s Word and Sacrament where they are rightly preached, taught, and administered increases our faith. The prophet Jeremiah writes in Ch. 15:16, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.” Ignatius of Antioch, a pastor in the late 1st Century described the Sacrament of the Altar as the “medicine of immortality.” The blessing I always speak before dismissing the Communion Table is, “May this body and this blood strengthen and preserve you steadfast in the one true faith, until life everlasting.”

None of these words are empty! We are what we consume. In the Divine Service, God gives us the spiritual food and drink we need to sustain our body and soul. The means of grace make us Christians! The means of grace keep us Christians! Baptism made us God’s child. The Word increases our faith. Holy Communion strengthens and preserves it steadfast.

King Solomon writes in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” As we move to Communion offered each week in every service during this Advent season, I encourage us all to trust that the gift the Lord is providing is nothing but a most excellent, precious gift for us! It can be tough not to lean on our own understanding, for we all have different opinions and feelings. But one thing is for certain, every time God offers us a gift it is meant for our highest good. Think of the Chorus of the beloved Communion hymn, “I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table”. We sing at the end of each verse, “Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood be for my soul the highest good.” It is not just good, moderately good, or even really good. It is the highest good! Every time we celebrate the Sacrament we consume Christ, Who is the ultimate Highest Good. May the Lord increase our appetite for His gifts more and more each day until life everlasting, when the consummation of all our spiritual consuming is fulfilled in eternity!

Your servant in Christ, Pastor Hromowyk

WORSHIP SCHEDULE

Sunday Worship Services - 8:00 A.M. and 10:30 A.M.
Advent Services, Wednesday's Noon and 7:00 P.M.
Christmas Eve Service 5:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M.
Christmas Day Service 9:30 A.M.
New Years Eve Service Noon and 7:00 P.M.


 

COMMUNION SCHEDULE
 

Holy Communion is available every Sunday at both services.

COMMUNION STATEMENT
Special note to our visitors and guests: Because those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm and because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, are kindly asked to refrain from partaking of the Sacrament until first speaking with our Pastor.