Modern social liberalism really is something of a Grinch worldview. It is very much like the grown up in all the movies that doesn’t believe in Santa Claus and thinks that fairy tales like that are really bad for children. The reason they’re bad is because they aren’t true and even more importantly they cause disappointment. And frequently, we find out that those same grownups were once children who experienced some deep disappointment. In the movies, it usually includes not getting what they most wished for one Christmas. The Grinch, we learn was mistreated and despised and rejected, and so now, he thinks he’s actually helping everyone by taking away the lights and candy and gifts. Reality is harsh. Reality is severe. So stop believing in all this goodness and happiness and joy. I think there’s something deeply true about that phenomenon in our modern culture. The false gospel of secularism and evolutionary thought is trying to put a brave face on nihilism. Let’s all seriously face the facts that life is meaningless and don’t try to make more of it than there really is. That will only cause disappointment and depression when bad things happen. At the heart of it all is a loss of faith in goodness. There may be momentary sensations of goodness, but you can’t count on it, they say. At the heart of this world is not goodness but nothingness, meaninglessness, disappointment, loss.
And that’s why the Lord knew we needed this meal. At this table, the Lord reminds us week after week of two things. First, that He has not ignored our disappointments. He has not ignored our hardships. He has come for us. He was mistreated, despised, and rejected for us. And second, that He went down into the meaninglessness of life, the deep disappointment of death, and He came out the other side with a great haul of meaning and truth. We do not believe in some kind of bland humanistic goodness that we somehow gin up for ourselves. We believe in the goodness of God, the goodness that God made, and the goodness that God is determined to remake. We are not good, but we believe in the goodness of God. And we are not sentimentalists who pretend that everything is easy or fun. But we are realists who have discovered that all who put their trust in Jesus will not ultimately be disappointed. So come, and bring all your disappointments and failures and lay them down here. And taste and see that the Lord is good.