To experience God with all senses
I am sure that we all pray that our beloved non-believers - family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues - give God a chance. Each of them takes a stand on God. Is the god you imagine the triune God who was revealed in Jesus? How can we help you get to know this God in a deeply personal way? King David wrote: "Taste and see that the Lord is kind!" (Psalm 34,9 New Geneva Translation). How can we help you respond to this invitation? This is not a marketing gimmick - David points to the deep truth that God makes himself known to everyone who is looking for him. He invites us to a resilient, life-changing relationship with God that includes all dimensions of our human existence!
Tastes that the Lord is kind
Taste? Yes! To experience the perfect goodness of God is like a delicious meal or drink that caresses the tongue. Think of the bittersweet, slow-melting chocolate or harmoniously ripened red wine that surrounds your tongue. Or think of the taste of a tender fillet of beef tenderloin seasoned with a perfect mix of salt and spices. Something similar happens when we get to know the God revealed in Jesus. We want the glorious enjoyment of his goodness to last forever!
Meditating on the richness of the nature of the triune God and the complexity of his ways arouses hunger for the things of God. Jesus said: «Happy are those who hunger and thirst for justice; because they will be full » (Matthew 5,6 New Geneva translation). When we get to know God personally, we yearn for justice - for good and right relationships - just for us God. Especially when things are bad, this craving is so intense that it hurts like we're starving or thirsty. We see this intensity in the service of Jesus to his fellow man and his pain for those who reject God. We see it in his desire to reconcile relationships - especially our relationship with his heavenly Father. Jesus, the Son of God, came to establish this good and fulfilling right relationship with God - to participate in God's work, to do all relationships well. Jesus himself is the bread of life that satisfies our deep hunger and our hope for good and right relationships. Tastes that the Lord is kind!
See that the Lord is benevolent
Look? Yes! Through our eyesight we see beauty and perceive form, distance, movement and color. Remember how frustrating it is when what we absolutely want to see is hidden. Think of an avid bird watcher who hears the sound of a long-sought, rare species but cannot see it. Or the frustration of trying to find your way in an unknown dark room at night. Then consider the following: How can we experience the goodness of a God who is invisible and transcendent, beyond our human imagination? This question reminds me of what Moses, perhaps somewhat frustrated, asked from God: "Let me see your glory!", To which God replied: "I will let all my kindness pass by before your face" (Ex Mo 2: 33,18-19).
The Hebrew word for glory is "kabod". The original translation for this is weight and was used to express the radiance of the whole of God (visible to everyone and to everyone's delight) - all his goodness, holiness and uncompromising loyalty. When we see the glory of God, everything hidden is removed and we see that our triune God is really kind and that his ways are always right. In the glory of His righteousness and justice, God is determined to put everything in order. Our God of peace and life-giving love is against all evil and guarantees that evil has no future. The triune God shines in his glory and reveals his nature and presence - the fullness of his merciful and just grace. The light of God's glory shines in our darkness and reveals the splendor of its beauty. See that the Lord is kind.
A journey of discovery
Getting to know the triune God is not like quickly snapping down a fast food meal or casually watching a three-minute video clip. In order to get to know the God revealed in Jesus Christ, it is necessary that the blinders be taken from our eyes and that the sense of taste be restored. It means being miraculously healed to see and taste God for who He really is. Our imperfect senses are much too weak and damaged to grasp the fullness and glory of our transcendent, holy God. This healing is a lifelong gift and task - a wonderful, exploratory journey of discovery. It is like a rich meal in which the taste almost explodes over several courses, with each course surpassing the previous one. It's like a riveting sequel series with countless episodes - you can watch it, but never get tired or bored.
Although it is a journey of discovery, getting to know the triune God in all its glory revolves around a central point - what we see and recognize in the person of Jesus. As Immanuel (God with us) he is the Lord and the God who became visible and touchable man. Jesus became one of us and lived among us. By looking at him as it is written, we discover the one who is "full of grace and truth" and we see the "glory" of the "only son who comes from the Father" (John 1,14 New Geneva translation). Although «no one has ever seen God ... the only son revealed him to us, he who is God himself and who sits at the side of the Father» (John 1,18 New Geneva translation). To see God as he really is, we need look no further than the Son!
Go and say it
Psalm 34 paints a picture of the one God who is kind, just, loving and personal - God who wants his children to experience his presence and kindness and who frees them from evil. He tells of a God who is so real that our lives are changed forever and our hearts, like Moses, yearn for him and his ways. This is the triune God, whom we introduce to our relatives and loved ones. As followers of Jesus, we are called to share in the service of our Lord's evangelism by sharing the gospel Pass on (the good news) that the Lord is really a good God. Taste, see and pass it on that the Lord is kind.
from Greg Williams