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Monday, 13 May 2013

Spiritual hunger.

In Wishaw Baptist Church, this year, the pastor is preaching through "The Sermon on the Mount" - apart from 'special' Sundays such as Resurrection [aka Easter] Day - and has now moved on from the Beatitudes, which are found at the beginning of that sermon (Matt.5:3ff).

One of the Beatitudes (or, as we were reminded, "beautiful attitudes") states: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matt 5:6).  During my private devotions, this morning, I found myself thinking of those words.  I then recalled the famine in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s, and the work of the singer, Bob Geldof, in establishing "Live Aid" (I believe that it was footage of a BBC news report, in 1984, in which Red Cross nurse Claire Bertschinger was featured, that was the catalyst that moved him to begin his fund-raising).

I recalled television pictures of children with distended stomachs - the result of eating grass in an attempt to satisfy their extreme hunger.  I recalled scenes of even adults fighting over individual grains of rice that fell from sacks being unloaded from aid lorries.  These were people who had a gnawing hunger, and they were seeking to satisfy it even with that which provided no nutrition, or was totally inadequate.

I realised that there are so many in the world, today, who recognise a deep spiritual hunger.  They are seeking to satisfy that yearning that is in the very depths of their beings.  However, so many turn to that which is unable to provide true spiritual nutrition.  They find, as the Rolling Stones' song put it, that they "can't get no satisfaction"!

Last evening, the pastor directed us to, among other passages, Isaiah 55:1-2: "Ho, every one who thirsts,
come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy?  Hearken diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in fatness.
"

We might say that the prophet was looking forward to the Gospel, and to the One Who could say, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." (John 6:35).

Of course, we need to have, spiritually, the same hunger and thirst that was experience by those Ethiopians almost thirty years ago.  But, if we do, and we come to Him, we will certainly find both spiritual nourishment, and satisfaction!

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