Monday, February 11, 2008

Justice, Grace and Meatballs

The phone rang while we were eating dinner Saturday night.

"Pastor Rebel? This is Martha. I'm here at church. In the kitchen. We're getting the food ready for the reception after tonight's concert."

Uh huh.. .

"Well, Norm and Nancy made some meatballs and brought them down here this morning because they can't be here tonight."

Uh huh . . .

"And the League of Women Voters was here this afternoon making the food for their event tonight and now they are gone and the meatballs are missing."

Ah!!! You think they may have taken our meatballs by mistake?

"Yes! I'm sure they did! Do you know where they were taking their food?"

No. Not exactly. I just remember that they wanted to use our kitchen because the place they are having their event tonight only allows their official caterer to use their kitchen to prepare food.

(At this point I can hear animated conversation in the background . . .)

"Thanks! Jean knows where that is. We'll figure this out. Bye!"

Thirty minutes later, I arrive at church myself. I check in with the folks in the kitchen to see what has transpired vis a vis the meatballs.

"We've got them! Martha went up to Special Events House and grabbed them out of the warming oven. And look! The pan even had this note taped to it! (For Concert Reception 2/9) How could they have missed that?????"

My kids and I beat a hasty retreat from the kitchen to the church courtyard where we bust out laughing.

"Mom," says my son. "You have to work this into your sermon tomorrow."

Well, I don't know . . .

"No, really. What are you preaching about?"

The story about how Jesus was tempted in the wilderness.

"Perfect! Those ladies were tempted to take our meatballs!!!"

No--they weren't tempted. They just made a mistake. They thought the meatballs belonged to them.

"Well. Okay. But I still think you could use it."

Actually, if I were ever to use this story in a sermon, I would use it as an illustration of the difference between justice and grace. The just thing to do was march down to the community center and demand our meatballs back. The gracious thing to do would have been to let the League ladies enjoy them with our blessing.

AFter hearing me re-tell this story to my colleague Sunday morning, my daughter observed, "Mom--you really have to blog about this."

Now THAT I can do.


Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Oh that is too funny! Yep, can't let that women steal the meatballs!!

Presbyterian Gal said...

LOL! That is a hoot. Grand larceny with meatballs. Too bad you can't fit it into a sermon.

Anonymous said...

And you know they'll be talking about Grand Theft Meatballs for YEARS to come!

Ruth said...

I'm thinking meatballs in marinara sauce, right? If they're Swedish, the picture in my head is totally different. Cocktail, regular or jumbo size? Somehow if we can all just picture this, it will become the perfect illus. of the Kingdom of God. Somehow. Will Jesus serve meatballs at the Great Banquet? There's a rock band name in here somewhere.