Ultimately, we know the true nutritional value of food through long experience and observation. We see people who eat right, exercise and enjoy things in moderation and observe that they are healthy. When we watch someone else eat a steady diet of junk food and get their only exercise from thumb-twitching, mouse-clicking or channel-surfing, we know they’re headed for trouble. Going from an unhealthy diet and lifestyle to a healthy one takes discipline, but it also involves beginning to experience the benefits of eating right. A smaller waistline, more energy, compliments from others — these are positive personal reinforcement.
The same is true of our spiritual lives. When we engage in the daily disciplines of cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus through prayer, study, meditation and service, we start to experience the benefits and want more. We learn that Jesus is, indeed, good for us on a lot of levels. We simply need to check the labels every day to know what he can do in us and through us. When we’re living on a steady diet of Jesus’ presence in our lives, others will begin to notice and want to know the secret.
Every time we come to the Lord’s table, we celebrate a meal that’s full of spiritual nutrition. Jesus said the bread he would give “for the life of the world” would be his own “flesh,” foreshadowing the lengths to which he would go to provide the ultimate spiritual nourishment of salvation in his own death. Every time we take the bread and chalice, we are partaking in a life-giving diet of grace.