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In May of 1846, 187 men, women and children left from Missouri in a wagon train headed to California. There was nothing exceptional about the group or this journey and we would have never known about them had they not made the decision to try a shortcut. The “Hastings Cutoff”, as it was known, was indeed a shorter route to their destination but it had only been tried on horseback. No wagon had made the journey. This group, now known as “The Donner Party”, would not complete their journey.

This group is famous because of allegations of cannibalism that occurred within the group while waiting for rescue. We find the thought repugnant and disgusting. We like to believe that, no matter what, we would never do such a thing. It would be more accurate to say, “I have not been that hungry yet” than to say “I would never eat that.” The survivors were high in the Sierra Madre for three months with no food at all.

I have heard people make the observation that, “I wasn’t fed at church.” I assume they mean that they didn’t learn anything useful or that they didn’t feel the presence of God. I also have heard the charge that, “I don’t like doing it this way” or “I don’t like that version of the Bible.” I compare this to my kids coming to me complaining that there is nothing to eat in the house. When I point out various options, they exclaim, “I don’t like that.” My response is always the same. Then you aren’t truly hungry yet.

You know who doesn’t like what is spread on God’s table? The one that isn’t hungry. The one seeking self satisfaction and validation. Who wants to pick and choose the ways they will worship? The one that doesn’t think they need God. They are full... of themselves.

In Matthew 5:6, Jesus commends the one that “hungers and thirsts” for righteousness. Think Donner Party hungry. Desperate. Without pride or will. With one goal and one goal only, to be fed. To eat readily from whatever it is God lays on the table. To accept whatever condition, correction or assignment He throws at us without hesitation. When we come to Church and worship in such a way, according to Jesus, we will leave filled and content. So when we leave still hungry and discontent, whose fault is it?

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