Solids already?

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

Readings for Feb 16, 2020; Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. 1 Corinthians 3:2

My granddaughter is getting close to being one and a half years old. I love watching her, especially when she is eating. She loves eating. There really isn’t anything she can’t eat now and watching her eat on her own is always fun — messy, but fun. She has the general idea but boy can she make a mess of herself and everything within a two foot radius. Yet, I can’t help but remember that a few short months ago she was only eating soft food, and just a few months prior to that she was only drinking milk. It is truly amazing how little ones progress.

While reflecting on today’s scripture reading, I couldn’t help think of my granddaughter’s eating progress and what would have happened if it had been rushed. What if my granddaughter was given hard food before she was ready?  Such an act could have been detrimental to her health and even caused death.  Most parents are very cautious of their child’s progress and ability to go from liquids to solids. They respect and understand their child’s limitations.

In the same way, do we, who may be considered parents-in-the-faith, respect and understand where others are at in their faith? Do we teach, with our words and actions, at an appropriate level in order that our precious one can ingest what is being said or experienced, and have it feed their soul? Or do we try to shove solid food- more complex, teachings, expectations and judgements- down their throats which may cause great distress and perhaps death- death to their soul?

I believe our reading for today should humble us. We should consider as Paul did, to teach according to our fellow Christians’ spiritual ability, and not to lay on them expectations and teachings that they may not be able to comprehend and that ultimately become burdens upon their hearts and conscience. So, parents be gentle with your children,  and consider baby steps in nurturing them in their own relationship with Christ and a personal understanding of God’s love and sacrifice for them. Remember it is God who will use what you feed them, to work in them through the Holy Spirit to make them grow in him. In the same way, Shepherds should be gentle with their flock and take great care in how they present the spiritual food they feed God’s most precious children.

Please don’t get me wrong. Of course, just like my granddaughter is growing and progressing with her ingesting ability, so all people should continue to grow and mature in God’s word and their Christian faith. However, if in question, it is always safer to offer soft food over solid, for all people can still survive and grow on soft food. Whereas, anyone can choke to death if solid food is being shoved down their throats constantly. Also, we should not force someone to eat something that we ourselves are not able to swallow. In any case, it is good to remember that all people need both solid and liquid foods in order to survive. May we always be humble enough to adjust our spiritual feeding habits to best support each of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to grow in you. Help me to consider the spiritual growth of all people as they come to the knowledge of your love and redemption for them, through Jesus, our Saviour. In His name I pray. AMEN!

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