Don’t forget to chew your food. It’s the first part of the digestion process. A digestive enzyme called amylase, which is found in saliva, starts to break down some of the carbohydrates (starches and sugars) in the food even before it leaves the mouth. As you chew, the saliva begins to mix with the food. Saliva not only helps make the food softer and easier to swallow, but it also helps break down the chemicals in the food. It’s a form of chemical digestion.
That may be an unusual way to start this weeks blog. But here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church we are traveling through a sermon series called “Wilderness Living,” and taking a look at the journey the Hebrew people made out of Egypt. Last week we saw the important role Moses had to play in the process. God certainly gave him a lot to chew on! (Our sermon “Holy Ground” can be found here.)
This week we'll be thinking about the Passover meal. While the Passover meal was designed to be eaten “on the go,” it was certainly NOT fast food. There were significant steps that led to it's preparation and the whole experience was designed to be a memorial for all time. Something to chew on, rather than quickly swallowed down. (See Exodus 12:1-14)
This week is also our Sunday School Rally Day, when we kick off a brand new church educational year for our Sunday School. Weather permitting, this Sunday we hope to have an open air service at our beautiful amphitheater and follow it up with a picnic.
The task of Christian Education reminds us that the Holy Scriptures are not soundbites. That we need to take time to chew on God's Word if it is truly going to be a source of energy for our spiritual lives.
Such is not a message that is particularly popular in our “I want it all and I want it now” culture. But it seems to me, that the best and most memorable things in life, are those that take time to percolate (and as a lover of coffee I know my percolation!)
So don't forget to chew. In digestive terms, you need to chew in order to properly benefit from your food. In spiritual terms you also need to pace yourself. Growth takes time. Learning takes commitment. We can't expect to know all there is to know about God in a few short sound bites. Discipleship is a lifetime journey.
We need not only a healthy diet of prayer, study and worship but also to take our time to digest all that God is seeking to show us. So don't forget to chew!
For some music to chew on... “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” by Matt Redman.
Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D.