Wednesday Week 1 of Advent

Anybody here from Birmingham? Good!
Sometime in my youth there was a children’s program called ‘Inigo Pipkin’ and its highlight was a puppet pig—who’s name escapes me—who every day, in a bad Brummie accent would shove his snout into his grub and cry with gusto ‘I like food’. ‘I like food.’
I, too, like food and unfortunately it shows. I guess that the unnamed pig marks out one dimension of our complex desire for food: a line that runs from compulsive gluttony at one end to the ache of hunger at the other. I guess from time to time we have each experienced both. We know the way desires can feel like hunger—the physical emptiness and need that craves fulfilment or death. And at the other extreme desires turned passionate appetites which gnaw at our hearts beyond any satisfaction or hope of satisfaction. Throw in the dainty desire of the gourmet for the delectable mouthful and you’ve just about mapped out the territory of our longing for food.
And all of that is appealed to in our Advent readings today as metaphor and physical correlate for our desire for God and God’s desire for us, for each of us.
I believe we only desire God at all because God first desires us. I believe our desire for God—hunger, appetite, or enjoyment—is always a sign of God’s greater, deeper, bolder desire for you and me.
Whatever the desire, the work—the fulfilment—is all God’s … the raw material alone is what we bring—the insubstantial loaves and fishes of our desire. All the rest is God’s. God’s its taking up, God’s the blessing, God’s the breaking, and God’s the giving back to share. God; edible in our hands. God enough to waste by basket-loads.