In the animated film, Ratatouille, a story about a gifted rat in Paris who dreams of becoming a chef, Remy, the main character, laments the fact that his fellow rats are content with eating garbage. “If you are what you eat,” declares Remy at the beginning of the movie, “then I only want to eat the good stuff.” His pragmatist father, however, disagrees: “Food is fuel. You get picky about what you put in the tank, your engine is gonna die.” For Remy, watching his family and friends wolf down trash while gourmet food was available nearly drives him insane. “What are you eating?” he asks his brother in disgust. “I don’t really know,” says his brother. “I think it was some sort of wrapper once.” In a similar way, God does not want his people eating garbage. There is lament in the prophet’s question, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” Like rats comfortable with eating trash, we are prone to consume spiritual rubbish and junk-food. Left to ourselves, we will spend our livelihood on a subhuman diet of drive-through spirituality, grasping for instant gratification in our quest for self-improvement. Or, if we are more desperate, we will go to the garbage bin to rummage laboriously through a pile of half-eaten crust and empty containers, searching for anything that might resemble practical advice or helpful principles for living. Meanwhile, we are oblivious to the fact that our Master has set the table and called us to dinner.
The Master calls his disciples to a meal this Sunday, one in the morning and one in the evening. The morning meal at CURC, which always includes the Lord’s Supper, will be from 2 Kings 22-23, "God Raises up a Reformer" - an appropriate text for Reformation Sunday, as Pastor Brown continues his series on the Drama of Redemption. The evening meal will be on Philippians 4.10-13: “Learning How to Be Content,” as he continues preaching through Paul’s “Epistle of Joy.”