I love to go out to eat. I love to go to a favorite restaurant where I am familiar with the cuisine. Take me to a buffet (or “all you can eat” or “smorgasbord”, can you tell me the difference?) and you’ll see me looking like a kid at a…well…BUFFET. At a regular restaurant I usually peruse the menu but in actuality I pretty much stick to my “go to’s” I am not very adventurous when it comes to eating out. Like when you walk into a place and they know by your face what you’re going to order. (“hey…Number 7, right?”) I mean, it took me dating my wife before I tried the green stuff some call vegetables…salads. It’s amazing what LOVE for someone does to your eating modus operandi.
But getting back to going out to eat…
Most times I can eat my fill and clear the plate. Maybe it’s the “I’m paying so I’m clearing the plate”. But there are times you get the Doggy Bag and bring home the leftovers. OH…NO, I don’t have a dog. So It’s a polite way of the place to wink and know I’ll be a glutton tomorrow. The buffet…that’s another thing altogether. You know how at a restaurant you get ONE main meal plate, you eat, you’re done, you tow the doggy bag away, if you have one. Admittedly, at a buffet I’m a “Three Tripper”…initial variety pile up, second is second’s favorite, and the third is the dessert assortment. Oh, at a buffet I do people the favor of not blocking the veggies or salads. I will do the “crane neck and sprint” for the fresh crab legs. You might think I was on death row having my last meal.
I am not writing this for you to know or cringe at my dining habits. There is an application, trust me…I grew up Baptist with a fellowship hall and not “pot lucks” like some churches (I digress while I digest)…food and ministry go hand in hand. Try and follow me…if you seek, you’ll find the application…maybe even smile a bit because you can relate. And nothing is better than “relations at the table”. ha ha
How is going to church like going to a restaurant or buffet? Most of us selected a church based on liking it, enjoying it…admit it, THAT plays a big role in it. Maybe its “family style” or maybe you like the music and atmosphere. Maybe you enjoy seeing the familiar faces you see each time you go there. Maybe…hmmm…the “servers” makes your day with how they care for you and your family. (A lot of us can relate to walking in and walking out of a bad restaurant and, yep…churches…”no tip for you”).
All that fringe stuff is what draws us to stop in BUT it’s the meal that’s the key…the “milk and meat” makes the desire to return. If you don’t get a decent meal that is timely, tasty and filling you aren’t coming back no matter how good the atmosphere and servers are at this place. Let’s face it…THAT is church for us sometimes. You arrive hungry and how you leave is according to what you eat, feed on and digest. Do you leave with a heartburning sensation? A full satisfaction? (And if you like Chinese food like I do, a little while later you’re hungry for more!!!) When you leave are you happily loosening the belt? “Mmmmm” Do you compliment the Chef who prepared your meal? What about the Owner of the place? Are you praising Him and giving Him accolades accordingly? Are you bringing home leftovers for later? Are you going back to the “table” one, two, three times? Are you taking some with you to enjoy tomorrow or throughout the week? It’s amazing what LOVE for God does to your eating modus operandi.
Are you telling your friends of the GREAT MEAL you had there? Are you inviting them to stop out and find a great place to feed their souls? They’re hungry…they’re thirsty…don’t deprive them, spreading the good news of Word…show then your fruits. Show them how “filled” you are in the Spirit.
By now some of you are hungry for something to eat…BUT what are you hungry for? Real food? Or maybe, just maybe the Bread of Life? Living Water? The wine and breaking of the bread of communion and fellowship? Do you have reservation about or Reservations for next Sunday? How critical is going to church to be fed spiritually fed? Try going without some earthly meals and sense the hunger…THAT should be how we feel about wanting more of God, at His table, with HIs family. Daily feedings in the Word…weekly feedings at Church…until we have that HOME MADE MEAL at the Wedding Feast in Heaven. It’s amazing what God’s love for us does to our eating modus operandi!
Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!