Milk Duds. So, I love Mild Duds! Allow me to sing their praise: 1) they are all goodness in my mouth. 2) They are long-lasting. 3) They require an effort to consume (and I do love a challenge). 4) As they melt or the longer you chew them, the easier they are to eat. 5) They are sweet.
I think God’s Word is like Milk Duds. God’s Word is Jesus Christ. God’s word is the scripture, and all scripture points to Jesus. So, God’s Word or God’s word is good in my mouth. What I mean is that both Jesus and the scripture that points to him is Good News! The gospel message that Jesus was born in human flesh, lived among us as an example for us, loved us as a prodigal* father would love, died as a criminal because we demanded it, was resurrected to overcome the separation that death placed between God and humankind, and in his exaltation brought us into God’s family as his brothers and sisters through adoption. All of this was the work of Christ. Our only “work” is to accept this gift. The word of God is so good in my mouth that I want to share it with everyone!
Not only is God’s word good, but God’s word is long-lasting…everlasting, to be precise. Isaiah 40:8 says, “the grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of God lasts forever.” One of the most amazing things about scripture and the gospel message is that they have lasted unscathed for centuries! Human beings have changed in the ways that we observe God, but the message of life, liberty, and love that flows through scripture and is embodied in Christ is everlasting. The message has endured all our human testing, grasping, chewing and digesting for so long. To me, it is a wonder.
While God’s word is good and long-lasting, it is also dense and full of substance. It requires an effort to enjoy. In other words, we must chew it! We chew it, so it doesn’t get stuck in our throats and so that we can digest it better. Enjoying God’s word isn’t easy. We can’t show up for worship, hear scripture read to us, attend youth group, or be present at a bible study in which the passage is explained to us. Instead, we must participate in worship, engage the scripture, build relationships at youth group, study God’s word and discuss with others. We must let the word of God roll around inside of our mouths, stick to our teeth, and be melted down to its essence inside of us. We have to engage the word of God if we expect to taste the sweetness therein and enjoy the fullness of a relationship with Christ.
Furthermore, as we make the effort to chew on the word of God, we find that the sometimes difficult to digest message gets softer and easier to internalize, understand or digest. Somehow, the longer we chew, the more pliable the message becomes in our hearts. I believe that God made it that way. God made engaging with the gospel message or scripture more of a journey to discovery than an instant reward.
Lastly, as in Psalm 119:103, “How sweet your words are to me, they are sweeter than honey.” The gospel of Jesus is not bitter or salty or spicy; the gospel is sweet. When we read and recite God’s legacy of love for his people, we are sharing sweetness. The message of grace and mercy that we share in Christ is something for all to consume.
So, in Jeremiah 15:16, the Prophet says, “When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s armies.” God’s word is like Milk Duds because when we discover the goodness for ourselves, we devour it! God’s word is our heart’s delight because we were made to enjoy it—made to be fed by it. And we love God’s word because we are “children of God” and we bear His name.
Questions for Reflection:
- How often am I chewing on God’s Word?
- How do I look at my time in Scripture and in prayer? Do I look forward to it? Do I read Ssimply to check of a box on my way to being a “good Christian?” How would I describe the way I read Scripture?
- What kind of engagement with Scripture do I need to pursue that will help me to be excited to devour the word?
- What is my next step?
Oh God, your gospel is good, sweet, everlasting and becomes easier to digest the longer we chew on it. Keep us craving the sweetness of your Son; keep us chewing on the gospel message of grace and peace and let the joy that fills us spill out and be a sweet meal for all beside whom we walk life’s journey. Amen.