We are gathered here for a meal, but it is not the final or ultimate meal. We are not yet at the time for the marriage supper of the Lamb. We are not yet ready for the feast at the consummation of all things. We are still living in the shadow lands, and the ultimate banquet has not yet happened.
At the same time, God does not want us to grow discouraged as we are preparing for that great day. And that is why we are offered foretastes of glory. That is what we are doing here, week after week. God nourishes us and feeds us with appetizers.
But to keep us from becoming too settled here, to prevent us from forgetting that we are still a pilgrim church, He makes sure that the food He gives us only creates in us a desire for more of it. We have a taste now to keep us longing. When you come into the kitchen half an hour early, and the very kind cook gives you a morsel of meat, this should only make you look forward to dinner more.
The Puritan Thomas Brooks put it like this: “Here God gives his people some taste, that they may not faint; and he gives them but a taste, that they may long to be at home.”
We must love where we are in the story, but we must also love where the story is going. We live in time, but we live in a time that is moving. We do not ever have the option of hitting pause. We are doing somewhere, and what we do here should be preparation for what we will encounter then. And that is exactly what this is.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.