I don’t know about you, but the holiday season is one of the toughest times for me to eat healthy. As a Type-2 diabetic, there are certain foods that seem to magically appear during this time of year that are simply impossible to resist. Whether it might be stuffing, cakes, pies, homemade cookies, egg nog, or mashed potatoes (which are available all year, but are much easier to resist in July), there are certain “comfort foods” that I have trouble saying “no” to.
My mind (which speaks to me in the voice of my kindhearted 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Lowrance) is telling me that these foods are not good for me. I hear things like, “Put down that piece of pie, Jeremy. You know that isn’t good for you.” I also occasionally hear her say, “Keep practicing your cursive, because you are going to need that when you grow up!” As it turns out, the voice of Mrs. Lowrance is right about the pie, but she was very wrong about the cursive, which I now only use when I’m signing checks.
My stomach, however, is telling me something else entirely. It is saying, “Don’t listen to that silly woman. You can deal with the consequences later. Just eat the pie. Do it now.” When my stomach speaks, it can be very convincing because - for the month of December only - it speaks in the voice of James Earl Jones; and I’m not talking about Mufasa…I’m talking about Darth Vader.
The “comfort foods” of the holiday season are a “good news, bad news” situation, obviously. They taste good going down, but they wreak havoc on my diabetes (or, as Wilford Brimley calls it, “diabeetus”). As much as I might enjoy those foods, I always regret eating them.
So what about a “feast” of a different kind during the holiday season? What if we feasted on some spiritual “comfort foods” for the next few weeks? What if we focused on some of the most encouraging, most inspiring, most uplifting sections of God’s Word, and we had no fear of an upcoming belly ache or spike in blood sugar?
Many times, we focus on the Scriptures (and there are plenty of them) that challenge us to be better disciples of Christ. Or maybe we focus on the verses that keep our worship “on track,” or the ones that command us to keep our language and behavior pure. There is certainly a need for these kinds of studies, isn’t there?
But just for a few weeks, let’s all enjoy some truths from God’s Word that are more comforting; let’s revisit some teachings that remind us of God’s love for us and of the confidence and assurance that we have as His people.
I once heard that the job of a preacher is to “Disturb the comfortable and to comfort the disturbed.” I believe that this is a pretty good summary, and I hope that my preaching/teaching always strives to keep this balance. This particular study seeks to do the latter of those two things.
So pull up a seat at the table, put your napkin in your collar, and get ready to feast on a spiritual meal that you’ll never have to regret!
Here is an “appetizer” of what’s in store…
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” – 2 Cor. 1:3-5
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” – 2 Th. 2:16-17
“Comfort, comfort My people, says your God.” – Isaiah 40:1