‘The morning tea effect’, a newly-named Christian syndrome.
We read Isaiah 55 yesterday at church. It’s wonderful on the greatness of God’s work by his word:
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it (verses 10-11, ESV)
It’s wonderful on the party & feasting that invites his people to enjoy:
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (verse 1, ESV)
The morning tea effect is when we Christians become satisfied with close enough to God, near enough to neighbour.
At church morning tea, we’ve usually just been deeply into God’s truth, but the digging tend to end. And we have some relationship-building chats, but not the fully engaged celebration that is God’s party.
That is, morning tea approximates and hints at all the good things of Isaiah 55. Yet it’s not the whole thing. In itself, that’s no problem – morning tea has natural limitations (keep an eye on the three year old, make sure the money gets counted, …).
What is a problem is when Christians are content to stay at ‘morning tea’ depth of engagement with God and with each other.
I realise that I must be wary of stopping at the morning tea level. Isaiah 55 calls me, and all, to earnestly seek these good things of God. Here’s the cry & invitation (verse 6):
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near