If, on the report I made yesterday, you read between the lines, you might have figured out that the first place we went after arrival from Brazil in the US last month was … a Brazilian restaurant. Our son Joel drove from Henderson to Nashville to pick us up at the airport and that restaurant is a taste of home for him. So we were happy to indulge his desire.
The name of the restaurant is “Café Mineiro.” (See photo of The Missus and me in the restaurant here.) “Mineiro” is one who is from the state of Minas Gerais. Joel was born in that state’s capital, Belo Horizonte, where we lived our first 10 years in Brazil.
In a real sense, we consider ourselves Mineiros, since that was the first place we lived in Brazil, even though we’ve been gone from there for over 20 years. I have a Mineiro accent to my Portuguese. Our vocabulary comes from that state. We enjoy the foods typical of Minas Gerais.
A typical dessert from the state is the white Minas cheese with guava jelly (see photo, above). It’s called Romeo and Juliet. Even this lactose-intolerant guy has a hard time resisting it.
But on to my point.
Just as that restaurant is a taste of home to our son, so time spent in fellowship with and working with the church of God is a taste of our heavenly home.
Christians consider heaven as their real home. Jesus promised to return and take us there after preparing for us a “dwelling place” Jn 14.1-6. “Our citizenship is in heaven” Phil 3.20. Paul said he preferred to be in heaven “at home with the Lord” 2 Cor 5.8.
The church is a taste of heaven. If heaven is a place that we have set our sights on and are working diligently to enter, then the church is our favorite place to be, to assemble with, to go to, to work with, to serve with.
There is a direct correlation between church and hope. Our togetherness serves to whet our appetite for the coming of Christ. We eat the Lord’s supper to “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” 1 Cor 11.26. Our meetings serve to “spur one another on to love and good works, … encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near” Heb 10.24-25.
So it appears that those who participate in the church’s worship and work develop a greater desire for our heavenly home. And those who look forward to that home also look forward to being with the church. It’s a happy circle of reinforcement.
The church is a taste of home. And because I want to go home, I want to meet with the church.