Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see. The elders in the past were approved because they showed faith. By faith we understand that the universe has been created by a word from God so that the visible came into existence from the invisible (Hebrews 11:1-3, Common English Bible).
This is part 8 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.
This fall, at First United Methodist in Sweeny Texas we began a new Wednesday evening program we are calling “Refuel.” It is a fellowship meal that precedes both choir and Wednesday night Bible study. Since it’s inception I have been the principle cook (that isn’t a complaint, I have enjoyed doing it). And, most of the meals have consisted of a pot of some variety of soup.
Like most churches, we advertise these kinds of events and usually say what kind of soup we will be having in our newsletter and bulletin. Though I am not cooking this week, tomorrow night will be shrimp gumbo.
One of the first weeks I made up a pot of soup from a recipe I found called “Great Bean Soup.” Several people read the advertisement as “Green Bean Soup.” To say they were skeptical would probably be an understatement.
Still, despite their skepticism, they came to “Refuel” that night. I am not sure if it was because they had faith in my ability as a soup cook or if they took me at my word (in other words, had faith) that I put meat in my soups. Or maybe, it was a way to get refueled for the next day. I can’t say exactly what it was, but despite skepticism, people came and ate “Great Bean Soup” and not “Green Bean Soup.” ( I actually think green bean soup might not be bad.
I know that for some families (not mine), soup is a staple of the Thanksgiving table. One recipe in my soup file is “Cranberry Chicken Soup.” I first found the recipe in a magazine featuring a Thanksgiving menu. There it was titled, “Cranberry Turkey Soup.” I’ve already mentioned having it at “Refuel” later this month. People are skeptical again.
I met a woman in one of my previous churches who told me her family is one of those families. The kind of soup was even specific. It was always corn chowder.
The point is, for some families, perhaps yours, some kind of soup is a traditional part of the Thanksgiving table. I certainly don’t mind including it here as a number of the things we are passing this month are not on anyone’s Thanksgiving table.
When I was laying out my plans for this blog series I wrote down “Pass the…Soup” and made a note with it, “thankful for faith.” As the date started to get closer I started questioning what I might have meant. I am still not sure.
I do know this, for many in the world soup isn’t just a side dish for a Thanksgiving feast. It is a necessity to live. For most of my life I have not been a fan of soup. I am still not crazy about soups that are more of a broth base. My general preference is for cream soups. So, the soup many people exist on, I wouldn’t be a fan.
But for them, they eat the soup they have, and have faith it will give them the nutrition they need to make it through another day. And, in many cases, they are thankful even for the little they have.
The writer of Hebrews reminds this in our lesson for today. Faith is all about what we can’t see. What we can see came into existence because of what we can’t see. We can’t see God and yet we worship in faith. What we can see is evidence of God’s work in the world around us. Yet at the same time, we, by faith give credit for what we can see to God. Evidence is really not present.
Soup is kind of like that. Often times, there may not be much to look at in a bowl of soup. We might not see any meat or really much of anything else. And many people, accept on faith, this is going to give them what they need to get them through another day. Perhaps a good Thanksgiving project would be to make sure someone has a little more to go into that soup. In doing so then perhaps we would be giving a bit of evidence to the nutritional value they accept on faith.
As we sit at the Thanksgiving table, would someone please pass the soup?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.