Tuesday night is pizza night at our house, and as I entered our local pizza parlor to pick up our order, a sign on the door caught my eye. “Come in hungry,” it said. No problem there – my stomach had been growling for food for the past thirty minutes. Pizza is great anytime, but it’s especially satisfying when one’s body is calling out for food.
Come in hungry. What a great message that would be to post on our church doors, as well! Having recently started a new job that requires me to work on Sundays, my attendance of late at our regular services has been sporadic at best. As a result, I know what it’s like to be hungry for a good worship service. This negative aspect of my otherwise enjoyable employment has been found to have a definite up side – I appreciate the opportunity to be in church like never before! While I was careful to read my Bible, pray and listen to preaching tapes when I couldn’t attend, I found that there is nothing like corporate praise, prayer and the preaching of the Word to satisfy a spiritually starved soul.
There are certain aspects of church attendance that I no longer take for granted. I hug necks and spend extra time in conversation with people that I used to just wave to in passing, as I find that I’ve been craving the fellowship of other believers. I delight in the nuggets of truth God sets before me to feast on in the pastor’s message. And I feed off the excitement, inspiration and joy to be found in our worship service like never before. Spiritual food simply tastes better when you’re hungry for God.
As I exited the pizza parlor with two steaming boxes in hand, I noticed that the reverse side of the sign on the door said, “Come back soon.” Next Tuesday I may find myself back at one or another of the many pizza places in town…but next Sunday will definitely find me back at church!
Thankfully I don’t have to wait a week to taste again the presence of God. The door to His heart is always open, and He always has something wonderful to bring to the table when I come to visit.
Come in hungry. Come back soon. You’ll be glad you did.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
(Psalm 34:8 NIV)