By Rev. Kevin Lee Farmer
June 1, 2014
Greetings, my dear friends, as I was wondering what I was going to write this article on, it occurred to me — don’t try to create something, just talk about what you know. So I decided to tell everyone what we did at our church on Easter morning.
So here goes my story about how we, as people who know about Jesus Christ and are saved by His grace, are really living in the land of milk and honey.
I had performed a milk and honey service years ago when I was preaching near Princeton and it was well received. Before everyone arrived, I got two clear glass pitchers, two gallons of milk, and two pints of local honey. In order to perform this small ceremonial act I also needed a table, small cups like the ones used in a bathroom, and — most importantly — a wooden spoon.
I began to tell the people who are gathered there about how sweet the love of God is. As I’m telling them this, I pour the honey into the bottom of the glass vessels, you see God is represented in this by the sweetness of the honey, that’s how He really is to us, He adds a good natural flavor to our life.
Next pour the milk on top of the honey, it’s a good distinction between the two, they do not mix naturally. God’s creation of humanity is the milk, we’re the substance of His creation but desire to have the sweetness of God intermingled with us and mixed with us. After all this was set up I told the people about how God led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. The Israelites knew about God, He was in close proximity to them, but God was something at a distance, not close enough for them to be with yet.
See, the man named Jesus, a carpenter from the city called Nazareth; He hung on a tree, a wooden cross. He was what brought the sweetness of God into the lives of men and women; He showed them the way to the Father. As I tell them this, I take a wooden spoon and pierce the milk and plunge it into the honey in the bottom of the vessel, it just sticks there, standing straight out. Just like Christ, He’s already there amongst us in our lives, but He’s not moving yet. When we (God’s people) accept Christ as their Savior, we’re not doing something new; we’re just accepting the grace that already exists in our lives. That’s when I grabbed the handle and began to stir, mixing the honey into the milk. Just as Jesus stirred the people, the milk and the honey mixed together, just as Jesus brought us closer to the Father God. It’s a wonderful thing having a visual aid to represent the gospel.
Now comes the best part, we get to drink the milk and honey. I know some of you might be thinking gross, but believe me it’s good. I also point out to the people as they take it, this is not communion is not meant to replace the blood and body of Christ, but only to show us of the sweetness of God’s love. God’s love is lying there just underneath the surface. We have to allow the wooden cross to pierce us, accept it for what it is and that we are the cause of it… it was our sin that hung on the cross with Jesus. He took it all away from us, all the sin that cannot exist in us when we stand before God one day.
God told the Israelites that they would be living in the land of milk and honey one day. I’m here to tell you today I’m living in the land of milk and honey within my heart, because Jesus dwells within me. Milk and honey is not only a place, it’s Jesus.
Thank you and God bless you.
— Kevin Farmer is pastor of Claypool United Methodist Church at Davin and a member of Logan Ministerial Association.