I’m frequently preaching in worship services other than the one we often attend as congregants. So when I get the opportunity to sit among the brethren, I really enjoy it.
The service we repeatedly attend as simple worshipers, gathers just down the street from where we live. It’s not only convenient, it’s a solid, Bible-teaching, local church. I relish my time there, in part, because the main pastor/teacher obviously does his due diligence in understanding Scripture before he attempts to expound upon it.
A Good Visual
One of the phrases I’ve heard him use from time to time is, “Let’s just marinate in the truth of this passage.” I like that phrase because it gives me a visual that I can understand. It also imparts with it the implication that knowing the Word of God isn’t an instantaneous thing.
Obviously, we usually associate the act of marinating with cooking meat. I’ve never done much marinating in preparation for a meal. There are two reasons for this. First of all, I don’t usually plan that far ahead. Secondly, I’m usually too impatient to wait that long. A good marinade often should be done overnight. When I see a prime piece of meat, I want to throw it on the grill—right now!
As I’m sure you know, the word, marinate, means to soak in a marinade. The pastor to which I’m referring is prompting us to soak in the truth of God’s Word. It’s a good visual for me, because I usually want to bite off a chunk of the Lord’s wisdom and move on in the hope that it will provide some nourishment on the run. Because of that, I’m quite sure I miss at least some of the flavor of what the Lord is providing.
Taste and See
There’s a passage of Scripture that says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good…” (Psalm 34:8). It’s kind of an isolated thought because it goes on to talk about taking refuge in God. If we take refuge, we’re seeking shelter—attempting to be surrounded in safety and security. When we are in Christ, we are soaking in his salvation and taking refuge from the storm. We are, in effect, marinating.
In this fast-paced world, we flit around like butterflies moving from one thing to another. We seldom take time to marinate in God or his Word. We seldom settle in to allow his Word to soak deep into the crevices of our lives and spirits. Consequently, we tend to remain very superficial in our understanding and in the ways we follow through. We don’t tarry long enough to savor each bite, and we move along—satisfied in our shallowness.
It’s a common malady among us Christians. Instead of growing in discipleship, we live lives that tend to be a mile wide and an inch deep (as some like to say). Along with my pastor friend, I would urge us all to take time to marinate in the truth. It will make life taste a lot better.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]