St. Michael the Archangel, Findlay, Ohio - Eucharistic stained glass window depicting bread and wine
The Revd Dr Chris Porter
As we begin this year it is only natural that we have all sorts of hopes and expectations on the horizon. Especially after the year that we had in 2020. However, hopes and dreams can easily be dashed, especially when they are held at arm’s length with the uncertainty that COVID has wrought on our lives. When we live with this sort of constant unknown on the horizon—whether this be COVID cases, border closures, or the general unknowns of life—it can be hard to see what is good in the world.
King David displays this sort of fear at the unknown in 1 Samuel 21 when he flees from Saul and goes towards Gath, a traditional enemy of Israel. Yet at this very time, when David had his world turned upside down, he cries out to the Lord in the words of Psalm 34. In this Psalm David goes further than just extolling the name of the Lord, but he also calls on the audience to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Ps 34:8).
David’s call to taste and see goes further than holding things at arm’s length or giving them a cursory engagement but it is a call to experientially imbibe them and let them transform you from the inside out. Just as one knows instant coffee is a poor substitute for a well-made latte, and cheap white bread is unsatisfying after artisan sourdough; so too this call to taste and see changes our perception on the world.
As we begin this semester, and indeed the year, it is my prayer that we would taste and see that the Lord is good. Not merely knowing about it but tasting and experiencing it. That this process learning may not be just held at a distance but a process of faithful transformation. That we may not yield to the constant uncertainty of our mortal coil but instead be transformed by a new diet of tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.