The Pastor's Peace - November, 2011
<< Previous page
There was a recent TV commercial I have become rather fond of, a commercial for hot dogs, I think, but that’s not why I liked it, although I do like hot dogs. It was the subject matter I liked. A father comes home from work; sees the kids playing video games, and his wife typing away on the computer or something like that. Everyone was home, but no one was interacting with each other. He goes down to the basement and turns the main power breaker off; the whole house goes dark and he claims there has been a power outage. The family is forced to grill hot dogs and actually speak to each other.

The idea that we are becoming increasingly removed from each other has been developing for quite some time. I remember how sad it seemed when almost a decade ago there were public service announcements reminding people that it was a good idea to have dinner as a family. I wonder how many nights a week the average family sits down at a dinner table together, all of them, just them and the food, no phones, or TVs, or computers. Perhaps one might even have to ask how many times a month, or sadly even a year. I’m sure some would see me as some “old fogy” for suggesting that these more traditional ways of interaction are more valuable than the brief and often shallow interactions brought to us by media and the information age, but I bring this up not out of nostalgia, but because I truly feel our society is losing something important.
As we gather for Thanksgiving this year, I would hope that this meal, at least, is one that most people will spend actually looking at each other and talking to each other. If we can’t do this even for Thanksgiving, then we truly have lost something. I bring this up not only for secular importance, but also because of its importance to our called life as Christians. Jesus had a ministry in which relationships were central. Jesus talked with people, ate with people, touched people, healed people, and focused as much on how we relate to each other as how we relate to God. The second most important commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. How can we love someone we don’t even know? How can we know ourselves fully if we don’t know ourselves in relation to others?

Perhaps all of this is just a phase that will rebalance itself over time. I hope this is the case, because Christianity without at least thinking of and relating to others loses so much of the gospel message and the love of Christ. It is no accident that great atrocities and acts of evil are often committed when one group fails to interact with another, fails to acknowledge them, and fails to see them as human anymore. This Thanksgiving, keep in mind that sitting at a common table and breaking bread together is so much more than sharing a meal. It is about sharing in each other, it is about knowing the body of Christ, and such acts, as simple as they seem, are what hold us together as God’s great family. Remember, it is not what you eat this holiday season, but who you eat it with that truly matters

Peace and Happy Thanksgiving,
Pastor Brian