We feed our children so that they might grow up. God feeds us for the same reason—we are His children, and He is growing us up into maturity.
This Table is therefore one of the central instruments to resist one of the great idols of our age—that of calculated immaturity. In fashion, in music, in manners, in desires, our culture represents a long, sustained revolt against the very idea of maturity.
The Church is not placed in the world in order to fight a rearguard action against the desire for immaturity. We are not here as simply a conservative force, to resist the general degradation. We are here to offer food to the world, for the life of the world.
We are God’s children, and He summons us to His table so that we might eat. But the intention that lies at the end of this process is God’s holy intention for the Church to grow up into a perfect humanity.
We are the new humanity. We are the new human race. But we are not the complete or mature new humanity. That is the point toward which we grow. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It is a wonderful question, and one which the Church ought to be asking herself more often.
But the old humanity, those outside the Church, are not simply discarded. We are building a new Temple to the Lord, but they are the quarry from which we are commanded to gather dead stones. God by His grace transforms them into living stones, just as He did with us, and the Temple is built, or rather, grows.
This is not a mixed metaphor. God’s Temple is alive—you are that Temple—and because it is alive, it needs food. And here is your food. Take, and eat. Take, and drink. Take, and grow.