Carvings

February 9, 2022

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” Matthew 5:6 The Message

After worship last Sunday, I glanced at my phone and saw a message from our son, Seth. “Mom, if you’re not in church can you call me within the next 15 minutes.” That sounded urgent, so I called him immediately. He answered on the second ring, “Mom, I’m having a culinary crisis. Can you tell me how you make cream cheese and olive sandwiches?”

That was a relief, and a surprise. I have not made, or even thought about cream cheese and olive sandwiches since I stopped packing lunches for them, 35 years ago. I learned the art from my mom, who loved green olives. She once told me about a time when she and her friend (not named Christine as no serious injuries or death occurs) got in trouble walking home from high school. They had a habit of stopping at a corner store, purchasing a small jar of pimento-filled green olives, and eating on their way home. Without thinking about the consequences, they would pour the olive juice on the same lawn every day. On this day, the homeowner came rushing out, and pointed to the spot on the lawn where his grass had died from the salty juice and scolded them for killing his grass.

Cream cheese sandwiches were a treat when I found them in my lunch in elementary school. I made them for our sons on occasion. And now Seth was going to make them for his daughters. When Seth mentioned cream cheese and olive sandwiches last Sunday, I immediately wanted one, and the craving stayed with me the rest of the day. I was hungry for them then, and hungry for them now as I write.

What might happen if I was hungry for righteousness, if I craved integrity, if I longed for virtue and decency, if I worked up a good appetite for God? Jesus said this: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” If the very mention of a favorite old sandwich spread made me salivate, how might my life, our lives, our world change for the better?

Help me, God, to work up a good appetite for you and your righteousness, one that nothing less than you can fill. ~ Anne

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