This previous Sunday's sermon was not one of them. Not that it was bad, it simply did not grab me and not let go.
Instead, my mind wandered off in search of its own meaning from the day's readings. For a second week, the Gospel...
And I should take a moment out to indicate that this blog will not be "churchy," it just so happens that the subject matter of this first post involves religion.
For a second week, the Gospel dealt with John the Baptist. In this reading, he send a message to Jesus from jail, asking for confirmation that he is in fact the Messiah. "'Cause gosh if your not, am I really going to look foolish." Jesus uses the opportunity to talk about our expectation of what the Messiah will be and won't be.
Anyway, what got me off on a mental tangent during the sermon was the whole John eating "locusts and wild honey" thing. My first thought was "yuck" as I imagined this year's Cicada invasion, and me walking along the sidewalk popping three or four in my mouth at a time while squirting honey from a Suebee bear in my mouth to wash them down.
Then I thought about Jesus and his culinary experiences. This let me to ponder that while Jesus was a carpenter by trade (being the son of a carpenter), he really had a thing for fine dining. He was more of an event planner/caterer, an early Martha Stewart if you will.
Three events stood out in my mind. First, was the wedding at Canaa. Jesus attends as a guest, as does some of his disciples and Mary his mother. Due to poor planning (or heavy drinking), the wine runs early out at the reception. After a little cajoling, Mary convinces Jesus to perform what was his first recorded miracle and transforms six jugs of water into wine. But this was not Two Buck Chuck he concocted. The sommelier takes a taste and comments to the groom that they should have served this better wine first.
The second event is the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Shortly after John the Baptist's execution, Jesus went off to be alone, but was followed by a bunch of people who wanted to see and hear him. Night approached, and Jesus realized there was no where for these people to go eat dinner. So he instructed his disciples to pass out the meager rations they had with them, five loaves and two fishes, which did not seem like enough to go around. The miracle was that those few items were enough to feed everyone, with enough leftovers to make doggybags.
Finally is the Last Supper. Jesus gets the fellas together one last time to share some parting words of wisdom, and establishes the ritual of the body (bread) and blood (wine) by which his believers remember him. He also uses the opportunity to lay a heavy guilt trip on Judas.
From these three events, I draw three lessons for any good event planner/caterer. In order:
- Only the best will do. If you are going to serve something, serve the finest, or serve nothing at all.
- In an emergency, find ways to "make do" without making it appear you had to cut corners.
- Dinner is not just the meal. It is an event. It is an experience people will take with them.
Good advice any of us can take into the holidays. So the next time you are shopping for a little soiree, ask yourself WWJS. "What would Jesus serve?"