Monday, August 22, 2005
Eating Twinkies with friends
Maybe it’s because I’ve been away from our dear friends and family in Lexington for a few days. Perhaps I am lonely for them and a bit overemotional. But yesterday I heard some great teaching from Tom Tanner at Wesleyan Fellowship about being in relationship with each other and I couldn’t help but think of them. As he spoke, he reminded himself and us, the congregation, of something his mentor said years before that has always stuck with him. It was simply this, “Don’t forget, Jesus is also known as ‘Life-bringer’.” He went on to talk about what this ‘Life’ is like. He talked about loneliness and the need to be in relationship because we are created in the image of a Trinitarian God. He offered statistic after statistic about the well-being and disease of people and the relationship with the integrity of networks of friends and family. He most potently illustrated his point by saying that "it is better to eat Twinkies with friends than eat broccoli alone.” To a rigid legalist of health and fitness like me, this struck quite a blow. I realized how quick I am to focus on the “rightness” of certain situations or practices that I miss the life-giving circumstance of the Kingdom – belonging to one another and being together. And, working in the context we do, I spend way too much time holding to Jesus as the “to the death” Messiah and Redeemer of all things broken and wayward in the world that I forget that Jesus is the bringer of Life. Lastly, I recognized anew that we experience life most abundant when we are with one another in the throws of day-to-day life. Friends in Lexington, we miss you already. I’m looking forward to enjoying the delights of trans fatty acids with you soon.