I had this picture come to mind on Sunday while in church.
You remember the scene in the movie Hook with Robin Williams where he has met the Lost Boys and he sits down at the end of a very long day to what he thinks is going to be a glorious meal, but when the lids come off there is nothing. Peter is starving – dying for something to eat, but he can’t see the food. We are like this sometimes.
The image I had come to mind was a man wandering in a cold, dark foreboding forest. The man is hungry, thirsty, longing, lonely – he has wandered a long time. In a clearing he has visited many times, he again sees warm, golden light. A large table is set up. On it, the man can almost make out a spectacular feast. The man senses the gentle invitation to come and eat… to come out of the shadows and taste the sweet goodness of the meal. The invitation is bathed in joy and fatherly delight.
Still the man doubts. Is it merely a mirage? Can anything truly satisfy? And even if such a delightful meal existed surely it could not be meant for him – a forest dweller…
How many times do we return to our dark, familiar unsatisfying forest because we do not believe that the Father could accept us? How many times do we not come to the meal because we do not truly believe it will be enough?
The Father warmly invites us – “Come all who are thirsty:) Do you have no money? Perfect – your poverty is your preparation. Come have wine and milk – without money – without price! Why do you keep spending money and spending your very lives on what does not satisfy?” “Listen” the Father smiles “come to me that your soul may find the life you have been seeking.”
Jesus is the soul-satisfying “meal.” He is the one you have been trying to find in a 1000 dark and cold places.
The Father beckons you to leave it behind and come to the light. Come to the feast. What you cannot now see, or can only see dimly from a distance will become real if you will just sit down at the banquet and taste and see that the Lord is truly good.
Jesus cries out today “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
The Father smiles at you hiding in the forest.
“Won’t you leave that cold forest?” “Come and dine with me”