In the recent past, there is something that has become a standard practice for many as they search for a new church home. Church shopping; that is the name given to the method of searching for one’s new congregation. More than the dynamics of preaching, or the celebration of sacraments, church shoppers weigh the quality of congregations against family programming and activities for their children. Rather than worshipers, church shoppers become consumers of God’s goodness.
Not long after Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five-thousand, the large crowd followed him across the sea and gathered once more. Jesus knew their hearts and minds. He knew they had come, not because his miracle led them to believe he was God’s Messiah but because they wanted more of the food he provided the day before.
Like the crowds following Jesus, Christians are not to be searching for what goods the Lord can provide. Local congregations do not exist to satisfy the wants of consumers. Instead, as we gather for worship, we should seek only that which endures to eternal life; a faithful relationship with Christ the Lord. Salvation is the free gift from God for all who believe in Christ as Lord and Savior. Understanding this, we do not seek our fill; rather, we seek God’s mercy and ways we can assist the church in its mission and ministry.
Prayer: Satisfy my hungry heart, O God, with the bread that endures to eternal life. Amen.