October 2, 2014

A Lost Parable: The Sugar of the Earth

And Jesus spoke to them and said,

“You are the powdered sugar of the earth. As sugar is sprinkled on cakes and cookies to make them attractive and exceedingly sweet, so you shall make my church the most delightful confection the world has known. For the children of this world have an insatiable sweet tooth, and you shall satisfy those who hunger and thirst for empty calories.

“You shall sprinkle sugar on my words so that every bitter morsel is disguised beyond recognition.

“You shall fill your gatherings with nectarous delights, amusements that thrill the crowds, so that all who participate may leave energized by the sugar-high of my Spirit.

“You shall make your church program a veritable display window of sugary treats, so that all who pass by may salivate and be drawn to purchase your pleasures and be satisfied.

“Do not ever let your sugar lose its sweetness. for then your neighbors will see the true taste and texture of your lives — the salty and the sweet, the bitter and the bland — this mixture you deem so unpalatable.

“And what will attract them then?”

Comments

  1. Richard McNeeley says:

    I should have waited till the morning to read this because now I have to bake cookies.

  2. i love it. Although i think the calvinistas might want to be called something else. Like the steak of the earth :)

    but then again i wouldn’t mind being a steak , it would feel great knowing your delicious.
    anyways good post CM , its late so i think i will save my serious comments for tomorrow.

  3. “what will attract them then?”

    i don’t know. I thought of two things. 1

    1) The fact that by acknowledging the bitter,salty & bland of our lives , we would be living more authentically & people would hold hands with us , that way we can go throw this together as equal human beings.

    2) Grace. simple grace. this should be point #1 now that i think about it.

  4. The quote at http://commonprayer.net/ today is from Julian of Norwich, who prayed, “God, of your goodness, give me yourself, for you are enough for me. I may ask nothing less that is fully to your worship, and if I do ask anything less, ever shall I be in want. Only in you I have all.”
    It would seem that our emphasis has shifted a bit since the 14th century :)

  5. GREAT new parable! Let’s grind up the gospel and mix it into Karo syrup AND coat it in powdered sugar and THEN present it on a really pretty plate with balloons and happy music!!!!

    I think this neatly underscores the discussions of the last several days. Too many Christians seem to want to sugar coat Christ’s call and His Father’s commandments in order to bring more people to the party. (With the best of intentions, I think.)

    We offer grace and compassion to every sinner (that would be EVERY human being, of course…) but we cannot change the Word.

  6. JoanieD says:

    Oh, but in “defense” of my very sweet tooth, I offer the following passages:

    Psalm 119:103
    How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

    Proverbs 24:13
    Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

    Ezekial 3:3
    Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

    (But I do agree with your post, Chaplain Mike.)

  7. When I first read this I had only one response: Ouch!

  8. Beautifully done. Thank you for this.

  9. “For we are to God the Aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one [the saved] we are the smell of death; to the other [the perishing], the fragrance of life; and who is equal to such a task?” 2 Cor 2:15-16

    There’s something to be said for being attractional: Paul says that the things that are full of life for the unsaved will be full of sacrifice (not sweetness) for the Christian.