I posted this nearly a year ago. I’m re-blogging myself (is that okay? probably not). And yet I’m doing it anyways, because:
a) I don’t even think my wife was reading when I posted this. So it’s new content for all but three of you out there.
b) I’ve realized how much I’ve written since that is trying to do the same thing — combat the notion of church and Christianity as a consumer spectacle, and instead encourage us to see Christianity – and our participation in the church – as a participation in the life of God. When we come to the faith and the church as selfish consumers, I think we’ll come away empty in the long run. That means church leaders need to be doing anything we can to help people participate in the life of Christ, not just come and consume a good show/program/event/service. That makes it messier. But it’s also real food.
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:34
“I’m just not being fed.” You’ve heard the cliché. It tends to mean that someone isn’t hearing things that are comforting, challenging, enlightening, or motivating. Or perhaps that they aren’t enjoying something enough. At its base, it expects a passive reception of something that a church leader or church program should be providing.
What if “our food” were the food Jesus speaks of? If our food, like Jesus’, is to do the will of the Father, “being fed” ceases to be a passive reception and becomes an active involvement in God’s mission. It transforms our understanding of Christianity from a focus on prosperity (“What am I getting?”) to a focus on participation in the will of God (“How am I participating?”).