• First Presbyterian Church

Hunger (Welcome Mat Series 4)

Updated: May 23, 2019

by Tim Haworth

I LOVE food!

Sorry. Maybe I should have had you sit before dropping that little bombshell of news on you.

Actually, if you know me, that statement was more of a bombshell of obviousness. You’ve seen me order at restaurants without the need of menu. You’ve agreed to get together for a lunch “meeting”. You’ve probably gotten some sort of recommendation for the best place to get a horseshoe (Maldaner’s), best diner food (Lulu’s), best steak (Capone’s) and best pizza (several around Central Illinois).

My food motto is “I’ll eat anything that doesn’t eat me first”. I’m a very brave eater. I’ll try anything once. Growing up in the church I enjoyed countless potlucks. I love church potlucks. You could always count on me to be there for all the goodies. One year, during pastor appreciation month, the congregation gifted me with the best foodie present ever – a food tray with 10 individual slots for food! I brought it with me to every potluck.

So, being the food lover that I am, as I look at our website “welcome mat” two things jump out at me. First, it says that we have an “open Communion table”. The Communion part is for another writing. I want to zero in on this idea that we have a table that is open to all. First of all, a seat at the table implies welcome and hospitality. You are one of the family. We say table in the singular because there is room for everyone at the same table and all are welcome. No one gets relegated to the kids’ table.

Secondly, it invites those who “hunger and thirst for God” to join us. I like that terminology a lot. Hunger and thirst are among the most basic human needs. Without food and water our bodies will cease to function. Without adequate food and water our bodies will not function at peak efficiency. The idea of hungering and thirsting for God is related more to the spiritual side of things rather than the physical. In the most elemental part of our spirit we have a longing for God in our lives. I believe that being created in God’s image means there will always be a part of us that longs to be close to our Creator – the one who loves us. Circumstances in life may draw us apart but I trust that there will always be within me that desire – a hunger – to return to God.

Church is one place where you can receive a healthy amount of God. It is a place dedicated to and consecrated for the purpose of connecting the created with their Creator. Through the singing, preaching, meditating and praying – the worship service gives us the opportunity to refresh and renew our souls. The church is a place where we can all come and sit around a “table” and be spiritually fed.

And, if you’re lucky, you might score a potluck dinner after services and be physically fed as well. Trays with ten compartments are always welcome.

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