Refresh!

"I will refresh those who are weary..."
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"I will refresh those who are weary and will satisfy with food everyone who is weak from hunger." (Jeremiah 31:25)

This past weekend we celebrated the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year with a community gathering at our church. The festivities included live bands, an inflatable for the kids, popcorn, and lemonade. However, I think the most popular spot at the event was the corner where the local ice cream dealer was handing out free ice cream cones. There was never a lull in the action at his ice cream machine! As a matter of fact I know that there were folks who braved the line more than once. At some point I heard the number "6" used with ice cream cones! (Okay, I will confess to "2" over the three-hour event.)

I believe there's something really special and almost magical about ice cream. I've never seen someone arguing or being mean while they were eating ice cream. I've never seen someone crying while they were eating ice cream. I've never seen someone be apathetic about eating ice cream. A couple of days ago I watched new parents share an ice cream cone with a baby that looked to be about five months old. The child literally lunged at the cone and buried his face in it! That's how I feel about ice cream but I try to control myself in public. Ice cream is truly refreshing.

I looked up the word refresh just to make sure I could claim its attributes for ice cream. To "refresh" means, "to give new strength or energy, to reinvigorate." Okay, ice cream fills that bill! Since this coming Sunday is the first Sunday of the month, many more Christians will be celebrating Holy Communion or the Holy Eucharist than other Sunday's when only those who celebrate the Eucharist every time they worship line up to receive it. I couldn't help this week comparing the line of worshipers waiting to receive Holy Communion with the line of folks last Saturday waiting to receive the ice cream. Do we approach the Lord's Table with the same enthusiasm and expectations we bring to the ice cream line? Do we truly anticipate and pray that the gift of love in Jesus Christ can and will refresh our souls? Do we crave the refreshment of God's Holy Spirit like we crave the wonderful magic of ice cream? Maybe that's something to ponder as we wait in line this week. "I will refresh those who are weary...," says God through the prophet Jeremiah.

I pray that God will keep me craving the refreshment of the Spirit. How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia


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