Eating from Trash Cans

A woman had three sons, each of them married with children of their own. All three were scheduled to arrive at her house at 11:00 for lunch on Thanksgiving Day.

For days she carefully planned the menu. Most of Wednesday was spent cooking desserts. She put the turkey in the oven at 5:00 Thanksgiving morning.  The table was adorned with her best dishes and gleaming, polished silverware. By 10:45 everything was ready. She had done her best and she was pleased with her efforts.

Then she heard voices and strange noises from the area behind the house where the trash cans were stored. When she looked outside she could hardly believe her eyes. There were all three of her boys, along with their families, sitting in a circle around the trash containers. They were eating from the trash cans.

Using the can lids as serving trays they were eating potato and apple peels, carrot tops, and orange rinds. As she watched they scraped out what was left from the discarded vegetable cans and frozen food boxes.

She rushed outside, horrified at their behavior. “All of you come into the house this instant,” she cried.” This is crazy. I have a wonderful meal for you in there. Why would you want to eat garbage out here when I have turkey and mashed potatoes and hot rolls and apple pie on the table in the kitchen?”

The oldest boy replied “I’m sure you have a good meal inside, but we don’t deserve any better than this. We have neglected you lately and this is all we have a right to expect. It’s good enough for people like us.”

The middle son also refused. “This is really not so bad, Mom. If you’ve never tried it you don’t know what you’re missing. Would you like to join us?”

The third boy confirmed the decision to stay outside. “I’ve talked it over with my family and we don’t believe you really have anything any better inside. You can’t prepare a meal like you described. We think you are lying to us.”

The foolish, ungrateful  behavior of these children causes us to feel outraged. But we act in similar ways toward God when we refuse the banquet of blessings he has for us and accept, instead, the trash offered by the world.

God prepares a menu of blessings for us every day.  (Psalm 23). He knows we don’t deserve it but He continually offers us the best He has. Of course we don’t deserve his goodness, but He chooses to bless us anyway. To say He cannot bless us is to deny his power. To say He has not or will not bless us is to contradict his word. When we live in guilt, ignorance and denial we are as foolish as the three sons.

The Disciples’ Easter Weekend

(Friday Night)
We thought He was the Messiah
The true and only one.
We thought he would restore us.
We thought he was God's son.
But now he's dead and in the tomb.
We don't know what to do.
He said "I will not leave you."
But we're scared, through and through.
(Saturday)
Years ago we left families
And followed, just like he said.
But then they nailed him to the cross.
Our hopes and dreams are dead.
Should we run or should we hide?
What is left for us here?
A week ago it was different.
I can still hear the crowd's cheers.
(Early Sunday Morning)
Hey! He's not in the tomb!
Mary just brought us the word.
She says he's back from the dead.
It's the best news I've ever heard.
Can't wait to see him for myself.
It's almost too good to be true.
Maybe he'll heal the sick and teach
Just like he used to do.

(Later Sunday?)
Jesus came into the room.
There's no doubt about it.
Everyone needs to know.
Let's all go out and shout it.
He is alive. He is alive.
You better believe it, friend.
He is all that he promised.
I'll never doubt again.