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Easter is a time when we think of food and for most people this is chocolate. But the bitter 'gall' is that Easter is also about the suffering of Christ and in this time we can learn much about our own sufferings and how we understand them. I'm passionate about food, but the word 'passion' comes from the latin word for suffering [
], and this is not something most people associate with food - unless you have over-indulged on Easter Eggs. I've also found a great little web-based meditation and food recipe for the brave who want to try some chilli chocolate muffins. Read on...
Feast and Farewell
The Last Supper is both a time of great celebration [the nazarene jews celebrated the passover a day ahead of the rest of Israel so this was their Yom Kippur] but also a time when Jesus really emphasised to them his coming death and that they would soon be without him. Feasts in the Old Testament mark the times when men were closest to God, yet here he seems to be going far away... yet in doing so brings us closer than ever before. If you feel far away from God, remember that a way back HAS been made and you ARE worthy [because HE is worthy] - no matter what your inner critic may say.
Pudding follows Savory
Apparently before Marco Polo brought back nougat and the idea of sweets from Arabia, there was no such thing as the pudding course in Britain - amazing as we have since given the world Spotted Dick! But it does seem right, does it not, that the sweet course follows the savory. Certain things are meant to be. Some would say that every cloud has a silver lining - but this is usually just a wistful hope. Yet Christians have hope beyond human hope that there IS a better place to come. We pray your better place may start sooner rather than later.
Comfort and Compassion
Compassion means literally 'with suffering' and as we follow Jesus we are invited to join him in his sufferings [eg Romans 8:17] - not to escape them. However 2 Corinthians 1v3 gives a little insight into how we can do this with hope. It calls us to praise the 'father of compassion and the God of all comfort' - and it occurred to me that you cannot offer true comfort [that goes beyond compassion] unless you can offer hope and to offer hope you must be able to see beyond - and that means to be God - to be above the situation. As John Stott put in in a related area of forgiveness, 'he is able to be Saviour BECAUSE he is also Lord'. The father of compassion sits beside us, the God of comfort leads us on. Both are needed, both are on offer here.
Greg from Masterchef may like toffee and chocolate and butter, but the sweetness of Jesus is never sickly, and that is why I love this great idea of Chilli and Chocolate Muffins. www.rejesus.co.uk call this 'chocolate theology' and this web-based meditation will allow you to find out more about the history of both chocolate and chilli and [for the person who wiggles their cursor about the screen persistently' a great little recipe for you to try at home. Comments below please on the results...
Jesus wasn't just relevant about food at the time of his death. It was a lifelong feature of his ministry. To find out more, read this great book by a friend of mine:
Rob Waller, 02/04/2012
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