Something is making it hard for me to lose weight. I’ve got a FitBit, and virtually every day I’ve surpassed my 10,000 step goal. I’m drinking more water and eating salads. I’ve cut down on second helpings, too. But all I have to show for my efforts is a lost of two pounds. It must be my getting old or maybe I just have a lower metabolism. I just can’t figure it out!
Or it’s those between meal snacks. The muffin with my 10:00 coffee. That Snickers bar I have mid-afternoon. Some cheese and crackers with a glass of wine before bed. All those little nibbles to tide me over until the next meal. When I think about it, they tend to add up. And the weight I’d otherwise be able to shed sticks with me.
Now for a reverse polarity metaphor! What if keeping the weight on was the goal? What if I wasn’t getting enough energy to live and thrive from regular meals alone? If that were the case, I’d be better served by snacking as often as possible.
Consider going to church as a regular meal. The nutrients to build a strong, Christ-filled life are all provided there: prayer & praise, Word & Sacrament, fellowship & devotion. The question is: Am I getting enough to grow on? Do I need to gain spiritual weight? Even if you rarely skip a Sunday, perhaps you might still be better served by indulging in some between-meal snacks, like Bible studies, service outlets, and all those other activities on the church calendar.
In addition, this summer we’re going to introduce “Backyard Gatherings.” These are opportunities to be fed with Word and fellowship (and some hot dogs & burgers, too) on days other than Sunday. Informal get-togethers involving sharing of food, getting acquainted, and contemplating the deeper meaning behind terms like Lost, Mystery, Space, and Labor. It won’t be full-fledged worship per se; but hopefully it will help all of us make it until the next Sunday morning…and whet our appetites in the process.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s what Paul intends when he tells the Ephesians (1:23): “The church is Christ’s body, which grows and is made full and complete by Christ himself, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
Which does not apply to my own personal snacking.