After leaving the synagogue, Jesus, James, and John went home with Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed, sick with a fever, and they told Jesus about her at once. He went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them (Mark 1:29-31, Common English Bible).
This is part 21 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.
Until I started watching Food Network several years ago I had never given much thought to macaroni and cheese one way or the other. I had eaten it in various forms for most of my life. When I was a child my mother would get out a box of macaroni and cheese, prepare it, add ca can of cream of mushroom soup (still one of the few ways I like mushrooms) and a can of tuna fish, mix it all together, with that and a can of green beans or some other kind of bean, we had a fast and easy supper from time to time.
As a young adult and father of two growing boys I created one time when Cindy was away on a business trip and I had to feed my two eating machines. A pound of browned hamburger, a box (family size) of macaroni and cheese and a can of nacho cheese soup (contrary to what the little girl said on the commercial for a particular brand of boxed macaroni and cheese about that brand being the cheesiest, I was determined to make mine cheesier) all mixed together was a dish my boys loved. Several adoptions happened over the years but it is still a favorite.
I don’t each mac and cheese as much as I used to. Being diabetic macaroni is on the list of things not to eat very often. When I want one of these two these days I substitute spaghetti squash and we make our own version of mac and cheese.
As I watched Food Network I discovered that this dish that we had growing up and as a young father, was classified as a “comfort food.” It is a food that makes people think of better times. It makes people remember home.
I have a lot of memories of home, both home growing up and home for our family after Cindy and I married. I know it isn’t the case for some people, but those memories are good memories. I am not saying bad things never happened. That would not only be naive it would be an indication that my memory is pretty faulty too.
I also remember, when I was in the Navy and Cindy and I lived in Norfolk Virginia, we never referred to the place we lived as “home.” We would call it, “the apartment” or “our place” and maybe a few other things, but not home. Home was reserved for our thoughts, memories and discussions of Texas, particularly Houston. Those memories of “home” brought us both comfort at times.
Still, I never really associated any of those memories with the idea of home, even if we did eat it pretty often.
Our lesson today finds Jesus and Simon and Andrew along with the Sons of Zebedee (John and James) to the home of Simon’s mother-in-law, a woman sick and in bed. I can’t help but think about her in this story. Here she is sick, in bed with a fever and that son-in-law of hers goes and brings company home.
It wouldn’t take very long, however, for Simon’s mother-in-law to realize this wasn’t just any company. This was company that could make a difference fast. Have you ever been sick and wanted to take a pill and see a miracle happen and you become better instantly? Most of us have, but Jesus wasn’t a pill, but she did better in a really big hurry. Somehow, now miraculously healed, I don’t think she minded getting up and serving this group so much after all. While the scripture doesn’t say it, I wonder if she served them macaroni and cheese. Well, probably not. But, in the future, when these guys once again ate whatever she served, I can’t help but think their minds went back to the day they saw Jesus heal Simon’s mother-in-law.
Such stories would be told around Simon’s family dinner table many times in the years to come. If you think about it, to be included in the Gospel it had to be retold at least a few times. Since the Gospel it has been told countless times. I also think, with the telling, Simon couldn’t help but let his mind wander back to all things home.
When I think back to many things, things like macaroni and cheese, it isn’t long before I get a bit of a smile across my face. It brings back good memories. It brings back memories of home and I am thankful.
I am thankful for all things home. I am especially thankful for macaroni and cheese.
So, please pass me the macaroni and cheese. I would like to dish up a nice helping. I know, it isn’t good for my blood sugar, but hey, its Thanksgiving and I will go out and walk it off.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.