The first weeks of the New Year finds many of us reflecting on the foods we enjoyed over the holiday season--or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the mirror reflects on those traditional favorites. My husband and I are subjected to this because we usually attend several gatherings between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.
One year we went to a Christmas party where the food tables were filled with a wide array of offerings, all prepared by an expensive caterer. As guests made their way around the tables, peered into the chafing dishes and politely speared some of this and some of that, there was one question sliding quietly from the corners of everyone’s mouth:
“What is this?”
Perhaps in an effort to impress, the host and hostess had gone too exotic on the menu, resulting in a spread that was just plain weird. Thankfully, most fast food restaurants are now open late; I imagine a lot of the guests hit the drive through on their way home.
Back to the party, though. One guest looked frightfully upon his plate of weird stuff and said, “Surely, somewhere in this huge house, is a crock pot simmering with meatballs.”
Well, there wasn’t. Believe me, I looked. Not only was the place absent of meatballs, it was also void of a veggie tray, a beef stick and the mandatory cheese ball. That’s right--they didn’t even have a cheese ball. What kind of party is that?
Whether it’s fancy-smancy or laid back casual, a good rule of thumb for any party is this: serve food people actually want to eat.
Have you ever known someone who tries to go elaborate on everything, even their spiritual beliefs? I remember a fellow once sharing with me his ideas about man’s relationship with God--and what he presented was so far out in orbit that I couldn’t have caught it with a space shuttle.
“You lost me at hello,” I told him. “I really can’t grasp your ideas.”
“Most people can’t,” he said with intellectual arrogance.
Well, la-de-DA. I’m glad I couldn’t understand, much less agree, with his theology. If I could, it might mean I was as misguided and grasping for straws as he was. The fact that his ideas were ones that “most people” couldn’t comprehend was a red flag that shouted WRONG! If there was even was a message of salvation, it was buried beneath the hoity mumbo-jumbo and only available to the super smarty pants echelon.
God’s Word says that He desires everyone to know Him. (1 Timothy 2: 4) We’re even told that there is no excuse for not believing. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1: 20 NIV)
In the Great Commission, Jesus instructed His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15 NIV) This scripture inspires evangelism today, but if most people couldn’t “get it”, Jesus would have told us to just stay home and discuss it amongst ourselves.
Of course, not everyone will accept God’s Truth. Even if they grasp what it teaches, they will choose not to believe and present a laundry list of reasons why. This is why we must “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)
Whether we’re sharing the beauty of our personal relationship with Christ or discussing our faith from a logical and intellectual perspective, we’re to always stick to sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1) God’s Word is penetrating-- living, active and sharper than any double-edged sword! (Hebrews 4:12) Let’s not drown it out with bells and whistles, stifle it with routines and rituals, water it down with warm fuzzies or complicate it with academia that only a genius times ten could unscramble.
The last thing we want is for people to walk away from us feeling unsatisfied. Let’s feed them the truth, letting them know exactly what they’re getting and why. Hopefully, they’ll fill their plates…or at least find their appetite whetted.