Lately I’ve heard many people talking about how it’s important to go to church because you need to be fed the Word. I can’t disagree with that. Hearing the Word is vitally important for each and every person who longs to follow Christ. When I see churches where the pastor spends more time teaching inspirational self-help type messages instead of using the Bible as their source of curriculum, it upsets me. However, I think that sometimes we lose sight of what church is about when we overemphasize the idea that church is a place to be fed.
Think of it this way: A family meets each night at the dinner table and eats. Are they simply there to be fed? Couldn’t they all just grab some food and eat it wherever they wanted? Those of you who have been part of a family that eats together know that it’s about much more than that. It’s a way of showing that you love your family and no matter what is going on, you are willing to drop what you are doing and be a part of the family event that is taking place. There is a bond more impactful than food, more important than convenience, and stronger than personal will.
In Galatians 4 we see a theme that is repeated often throughout the Bible; a theme of adoption.
”In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
My wife and I are in the process of adoption right now and we’re very excited, so this really hits home for me right now. I’d hate to think that when we adopt some wonderful little person into our family that they would come to think of us as simply a meal provider. We will, of course, provide food for them, but there is much more that we want to give them! They will be a full member of our family and are entitled to all that goes with it!
Each of us has been adopted into an eternal family. Does God want us to be fed when we come into His house? Certainly! But there is so much more to the dinner table than that! Don’t just get up and leave the table! Be a part of the family that you’ve been adopted into. That may mean that you stick around a little longer after service and get to know someone you’ve never had the courage to introduce yourself to. Maybe it means that you open up your home and invite another family over this week. Maybe it means that you start seeing Sunday less like the quick fill up that you need and more like a family event. Don’t just eat! Be part of the family!