We are the Body of Christ. People are looking for Jesus. And all they’re going to get is us. Continue reading
When Ezra Tull was still a child, his father Beck picked up and left. Beck’s departure maimed and scarred Ezra, as well as his mother Rose, his brother Cody, and his sister Jennifer. Each in their own way.
Reeling from the feelings and the economic fallout of abandonment, the remaining Tulls grew distant from one another. The weight of loss and the sting of rejection frayed the fragile threads that bound mother to child, sister to brothers, brother to brother.
In Anne Tyler’s novel Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Ezra tries to weave all of these scattered, fractured individuals back together. He repeatedly plans a dinner for them at the eating establishment he manages and eventually owns: The Homesick Restaurant.
Ezra believes in the power of a shared meal to mend his family. His restaurant provides a homey setting and offers a menu of comfort food designed to nurture and heal the homesick soul. Continue reading
Lots of television ads sell products by associating them with images and music that stir tender emotions.
Take for instance this Subaru commercial:
A young man pulls his Subaru to a stop in the woods, opens the door, and a chocolate lab puppy bounces out.Time passes. The same Subaru rolls up to a cabin in the woods. Looking into the front seat we see a slightly older version of the man kissing his spouse. The young adult brown lab looks over their shoulder from the back seat.
More time passes. The same Subaru—luggage carrier now mounted on the top—delivers the couple and their toddler to their familiar wooded retreat. The same, yet more mature man opens the back hatch and out jumps the chocolate lab, his face now white with age.
With sentimental music playing in the background, a narrator says, “It’s not every day you find a companion as loyal as a Subaru. Love. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.”
The idea is that we’ll buy a life that we wish we had or that we want others to think that we have. The advertisers never mention the sticker price, to say nothing of the operating costs, the maintenance costs, or the cost of insurance coverage.
A Subaru might be a terrific bargain on all these counts. But the automaker’s executives figure that talk about the cost of the car won’t sell people on their product.
And even when car commercials push cost to attract buyers, they’re telling you how much money you’ll save. They want to make any price look so low that it’s almost a steal.
Apparently Jesus missed that day in Yeshiva when the rabbi discussed marketing. Jesus not only talks about the cost of following him, he does so in the starkest possible terms. Continue reading