Performing for food- is it limited to the zoo and Sea Life?
Imagine you are standing at the front of a church. Everybody is looking at you and expecting a brilliant, brief, barnstorming message that will equip and excite them- until next time. Fancy that for pressure?
Jesus fed thousands with bread and a few fish – a miracle. He also taught listeners with loving and challenging words – and some lives changed. Another miracle.
What do seals and sea-lions have to do with Christians?
Sea-mammals are meant to catch their own food in the wild. Performing in captivity is not the best life purpose, even if it may be the most appropriate circumstance for some animals. I don’t know how to write the noise sea-lions make. “Arf! Urf! Woofff!” maybe?
The cry “Feed me!” can be heard loud and long from the church’s big mouth, and the “keeper” has to dig down deep to find enough fish fillet to fill it. Funnily enough, Christians are also supposed to feed themselves. Jesus described himself as the Bread of Life. The Bible is complimented as having a sweet taste. Coming to church is not a performance for preacher or congregation. Worship is a gift, a sacrifice we offer to God; and it is the way of learning together how we can best love God and follow in His ways.
When I became a pastor & preacher, I didn’t volunteer to keep a zoo. I followed a call to teach, train and equip the saints for service. And I thank God for the many marvellous saints I’ve met, and for the quirky ones, the normal ones, and even the awkward squad who have helped me grow up (sometimes the hard way). It’s been a GOOD life.
I am preaching on Sunday about being Hope-phil and Thought-phil ( from a chunk of Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, hence the -phil bit). Hope-philly people will come eager to be fed by God, not expecting the preacher to do it all for them- for then we will truly worship together. I’ll do my bit in preparing, hope-philly God will feed my soul so there is “food on the table” to share. Just don’t be fish-ious if you don’t like the dinner.
Question: if you find yourself saying “Feed me!” or “I don’t get fed in this church” will you go and take a long, hard look in the mirror? There you will see the person who is responsible for your feeding, growing, and growing up. God is on our side. Church is there to help. Preachers try their hardest. Bibles are most helpful when open and read. God even gives us His Spirit to re-make from the inside out. “Feed me!” is something we should say to the Lord Himself… and probably a bit more politely.
How hungry are you? What are YOU going to do about it? May God feed us all so we’re fit for purpose and can get on with our jobs.