Google+ Followers

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Hunger for More

The scene is stark.  Two long rows of wooden tables in a dark, dingy, high ceilinged stone hall that just looks cold and miserable.  High on the wall at the end of the hall in very large black letters is written “God is Love.”  At each of the rows of tables, orphan boys sit with their single bowl from which they eat the watery gruel that serves as their main staple, providing little nutrition and no satisfaction to their hunger.
It is the scene the author Charles Dickens paints with his classic tale, “Oliver Twist” that was published in 1838 and then made into a feature musical film back in 1969.  In the scene described above, Oliver, the main character in the story, has the audacity to come forward and ask for more to eat.  The overseer of the workhouse incredulously cries out, “What?!  MORE?!”
            Oliver runs about the room but is eventually caught and is held by his ear as the overseer sings the following words:
Oliver, Oliver, Never before has a boy wanted more
Oliver, Oliver, won’t ask for more when he knows what’s in store
There’s a long, thin, winding stairway without any banister
Which we’ll throw him down
And feed him cockroaches served in a canister
Oliver, Oliver, what will he do when he’s turned black and blue
Cheery, huh?!  What a contrast from the words on the wall – “God is Love” – to a simple request for “more.”  Oliver was acting on what he was feeling, he was hungry and he wanted more.  But the response was anything but loving (read the words to that song again!)
I am hungry and I hope you are too.  But do you dare ask for more?  The hunger I have is not a physical hunger, it is a spiritual hunger that makes my soul rumble for more of God and his life in mine.
These next few weeks I am going to be challenging us to think about what we hunger for and I hope that I will stir up some appetites in you.  We are going to use 2 Corinthians 8:7 as our guide:
But as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness and in our love for you – see that you excel in this act of grace also.

            Unlike the overseer in the movie Oliver, God is not stingy.  No dungeons and cockroaches in canisters for those who come to God looking to be filled.  Do you believe that?
            Each week I am going to ask you to right down one specific thing you want more of in this coming year.  Together over the next year we are going to see just how good God is!  I hope you are hungry!

Peace and grace,

No comments: