Support the Café

Search our Site

These Words are Made for Eating

These Words are Made for Eating

Monday, November 4, 2013 — Week of Proper 26, Year One

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 56, 57, [58] (morning) // 64, 65 (evening)

Nehemiah 6:1-19

Revelation 10:1-11

Matthew 13:36-43

Our second reading today contains a cryptic image: a little open scroll, held by a mighty angel with a rainbow over his head, a face like the sun, and legs like pillars of fire. What do you do with an image like that? Unfold it, ponder it, try to read it? No: it turns out that you eat it.

Sometimes, there is no better way to proceed with the Scriptures. Take a portion, open it, and start eating. The angel warns the visionary in today’s reading that the scroll will be “bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.” Indeed, the visionary tells us, “it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.” Those of us who have indulged in Halloween candy recently may know the feeling.

And so it is when we read the Scriptures. Some cherished verses feel so sweet on our lips. Other Biblical passages unsettle our guts. Perhaps our difficulty with digesting some passages means that they are challenging and nourishing us, slowly but surely.

The wonderful thing about eating Scriptures—or any other message from God—is that we don’t need to swallow anything whole. We can taste, we can process, we can break things down. Some portions deliver pleasure and comfort right away. Other portions are built into our bodies and incorporated into our lives over time. And the rest, well . . . it can just pass on.

I don’t often know what to make of the Revelation to John, but I find great encouragement in this vision. When God has something to say to us, he doesn’t just write something down. He gives us something to eat.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café