Revelation at the Ice Cream Counter
This past weekend I attended the annual President's Retreat for Asbury Theological Seminary. One of the guest speakers was an alumni, Dr. Spencer Lungaard. Spencer was a student several years ago in the Beeson Doctoral Program. He was in the Cafe of the seminary one day with his children and they were debating which ice cream flavor to get that day. Spencer had just finished a conversation with two fellow students. One was from a village in India and he shared that his home church had just been burned and his pastor killed. The other friend shared that his church in Africa had recently been destroyed by a group of radical Islamists and the members were enduring terrible persecution. Spencer recalled that he had a revelation that day in the cafeteria. He turned to his family and said, "We don't have time to argue over ice cream flavors." Sometimes life demands a serious and focused perspective. We live in a world where people are dying for their faith and others are dying spiritually because they do not have a meaningful faith. Jesus sent his followers out into the world to bring hope and new life to a dying world. Our mission is no different today.
This morning I received a note from a member of my church. She was upset about the choice of hymns used to open the worship service. A man in the church lamented that we did not have a Bible out on the altar table. (I guess he did not see that the worship leaders were holding it to read and teach from!) Another person said the lights were not bright enough during the sermon. It amazes me that church folk get so concerned about the "flavors" of the worship service and miss the calling of Christ to the higher things of His kingdom.
Folks, we do not have time to "argue about the flavors of the ice cream." We live in a world of hurting people, where children need mentors and where the hungry of soul and body need food. Will we get around to feeding them or will we waste our energies on the flavors of the ice cream offered in the name of Christ?