Palmer: Acquired Taste
“I believe that Christian Formation, the main task of the church, is the way God teaches our hearts to long for and love things, people, and God in the right way. It is though attending to my Rule of Life - the holy habits of weekly Eucharist, daily prayer, regular acts of service, and study, and reflection, that God teaches me to love in the right way. It is kind of like God's way of instilling in us a taste for the Kingdom of God, because the Kingdom of God...is an acquired taste.”
Trent Palmer, a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Lowell Grisham Morning Reflection
Friend and former Methodist minister, Trent Palmer, makes us look up and take notice when he says, the Kingdom of God is an acquired taste. Those who are connected to some form of a sacramental church where the Eucharist or communion is central to worship may especially relate to the image of using our sense of taste to know God.
I think of the many opportunities to taste the Kingdom on the smorgasbord that God provides. Some take a few bits of the Kingdom and decide for many reasons it is not their cup of tea. There are others that have only a little taste of the Kingdom of God and what that peace is like and crave more. Sometimes that craving lasts for a lifetime. Sometimes the busyness of the world deadens that taste or keeps us from the table. Tasting the kingdom is so much like the parable of the seeds that fall on the path, in the thorns, on rocky ground, and in good soil.
Tasting the Kingdom is like what a new person to recovery is told. You don’t just go to one meeting or meet once with a sponsor and then you are in recovery. You start off going to 90 meetings in 90 days and you met regularly with a sponsor and you connect to the program for the rest of your life, hoping to stay in recovery.
My daughter and I wrote a book, Taste and See, about our experience seeing God’s presence in difficult times, and food was always present. God uses all of our senses and more to keep us connected.
I remember the menu plan that God provides. We will taste the fruit of the Spirit, peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) to let us know when we are living in the Kingdom.