I was outside with the dogs last night, just as the sun was beginning its descent and the light was all golden honey goodness. Hearing the gate making an erratic clanging, I looked up, already knowing what I would see.
Every single day, at the very same time, they come, up from the back pasture, or the middle, or back in the trees. From wherever they are on the property, it’s as if they hear a dinner bell being rung and obey it’s call, knowing something more substantial than the pasture grass awaits.
It makes me think about church, oddly enough. Truthfully, we’ve struggled to settle into a church home since we moved into this house four years ago. We’ve visited and visited, finally finding one church we landed in, if you could call it that, but it is far from being our “home,” and our attendance has not been regular. We talked about it again, yesterday, so that may be why it came so quickly to mind as I watched the horses gather, hungry.
I’m hungry for something more substantial than the world’s food that fills me, but does nothing to nourish and sustain. I’m hungry for the gathering together with other believers around the Table. My inner dinner bell is ringing and my heart yearns for me to answer the call.
I’ve noticed other friends having the same problem, as so many of our local churches seem to be abandoning teaching the Bible, aside from bits and pieces of feel-good passages, in favor of what amounts to Christian concerts, complete with high-tech stage lighting and smoke machines. Don’t get me wrong, I love great worship music and have been a part of it from the stage. But we seem to have put so much emphasis on delivering a delicious dessert, if you will, that will bring in the seeker, that we’ve forgotten that we need to feed them real food once they get in the door. And I don’t mean all steak and lobster, either. We need the vegetables, too – even the ones we turn our noses to.
I know there are still churches out there serving the Word, the Bread and the Cup. That’s the table that calls to me, ringing the bell to bring me in from wherever I’ve wandered during the week. I will not give up answering the call until I’m shaking the gate to get in, surrounded by a family of hungry souls.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. ~ Hebrews 10:25 NLT