It’s no wonder we leave church and can’t wait to get in line at the cafeteria or get seated at the restaurant or gather around the dinner table at home.
We’re sublimating for what we really lack. We’re empty.
We’ve been emptied out by worship.
It isn’t supposed to fill us up. It’s supposed to empty us out.
We brought our handful of grain, our libation poured out, our dove or lamb or bullock and offered them on the altar. We left without them.
Oh, maybe we left with a crumb of bread and a taste of grape in us. Just enough to tingle the senses and ignite the salivary glands.
But we left our songs, our prayers, our smiles and hugs and tears and needs. We left our hopes and our pains. We gave them to God.
It’s no mystery that it never seems like it’s enough. It isn’t. It can’t be. What we bring can never measure up to what we’ve been given. Our sacrifice can never match His.
No matter how good the singing, the preaching, the devotion and fellowship can be, it will never been sufficient; never equal to what our Lord deserves. Deep down, we know that. A thousand tongues would only be a tiny fraction of what there should be.
What there will be. In heaven. That’s the feast we anticipate. That’s what we’re hungry for: to join the voices of millions upon countless millions.
For now, a few dozen will have to do. That, and the comfort of knowing that, just maybe, the same Spirit inspired worship leaders to lead the same song at the same time in the same key at the same tempo in a dozen different churches that morning, and that God heard them all at once and it was closer to what it should be.
Or that He heard the cacophony of all the different songs and keys and tempos and it was music to His ears, like the giggling of toddlers at play is to us.
So we long to see with His eyes and hear with His ears.
And we leave church starved.
Because we’re supposed to.