Cumberland Times-News

July 24, 2008

Join with God in his church

David Sandvick, Columnist

July is a month that many people head to the beach or to a park to enjoy a summer vacation. As I think about my own recent vacation, I am reminded of a practical joke I played on my wife.

At an amusement park, we attended a show in an outdoor theatre that held thousands of people. As we exited the show, I lagged behind our group and blended in with all the other people.

Still not 20 feet away from my wife, each time she looked over her shoulder for me I ducked down behind some other person until she looked away, then I stood up and walked normally. She turned around again and I dropped down behind another guest and kept on walking behind them until she looked away. I couldn't help but laugh to myself at her search for me. At one point, I came up behind another in our group and explained what I was doing and we both laughed as once more my wife looked around for me and down I went.

I suppose it may have been just a tad rude of me to play such a joke on her, but I must admit I was happy to see just how vigorously she tried to locate me. She wanted to be with me. It made me think that this may be how God feels towards us.

Perhaps at church, he is looking around expectantly to see if we are there and is disappointed if we are not. Oh, I know God is everywhere and we can certainly talk with him at any time, but there is something special about his church and his desire for us to join together with others to praise him and learn of him.

As for my little joke on my wife, the really funny part was that I did the very same thing to her the next day coming out of another attraction and she responded the same predictable way. Although the punch in the nose was quite unexpected.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.