2005-04-19 - Garlic Day
Psalm 55:14, "We who had sweet fellowship together, walked in the house of God in the throng."
Yes, in case you did not know it, today, April 19 is Garlic Day. It is actually observed by some as a kinda holiday. It sounds really dumb to me, but I guess there are dumber observances. We all probably have garlic breath or worse sometimes, but I want to move on from that and ask you a question. Is your fellowship with the saints sweet? I had a strange day at work today, but I want to tell you about two people I met, because it really defines the difference between fellowship with the saints that is sweet, and our interaction with the world. It really is different, and I learned this lesson well, again, today.
A woman came into where I worked, and she was carrying three books. Most people don't just carry books around with them, and being a biblio type like I am, I asked her what she was reading. She replied, without missing a beat, that one of them was the Bible, and one of the other two was her personal journal. This peaked my interest, because most people don't just carry the Bible around with them. I asked her where she went to church, and it turns out I used to attend the same church she is at, know the pastors, am friends with some of the leaders in her church, and we had a quick exchange. But she stayed around. I did not even know it, but I took a break, went outside to read Scripture on my PDA, and she was out there. We talked for longer than my break was supposed to be, and it was like this connection, because we had Christ in common. And it was like we had everything in common.
After that, another woman came into to the store, and in bold letters, had on her shirt, "Athiest whore." Now. I could not let that pass, so I asked her, "Are you really an atheist whore?" She said she was, and we had a short exchange, talked some theology. I told her I did not believe in atheists, but it turns out we had tons in common. We had the same major in college, both grew up in New England, and yet it was as if we had nothing in common, because we had not Christ in common. It was really interesting, but the two of us could have connected on so many levels because of our backgrounds, but without Christ, there was no connection of any sort.
This may be garlic day, and we might all end up with bad breath, but the sweetness of fellowship with the saints is always a sweet exchange, or it should be. Sometimes it is not, and that should never happen. One of the things I told the woman who was a Christian was that I had enjoyed talking to her, and then I said, "After all, we are going to spend eternity together." And I really think that is the right mindset, and also something we tend to forget. We who rest in Christ will all be spending eternity together with Christ, and I know we don't know what that all entails, but think about this: Do you want to have something against someone here, whom you will be spending eternity with?
As Christians, indwelling sin remains, and one that often happens between Christians is holding grudges against our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Nothing should come between us, as followers of Christ. We are to forgive as we have been forgiven. We have been forgiven, without price, without any other justice than that of being justified in Christ, who was killed for our sin without justification. Maybe I am crazy, but when I have that connection with someone in Christ, I have everything in common with them. And that is one of the things I told the atheist woman. I told her she has more faith than I do, and she said that she had no faith. I told her that even putting the key in her car takes faith that it will start, not blow up and said, "You live by faith." We all live by faith, but those of us who first rest our faith in the grace offered in Christ have everything in common, because we all know one thing: We don't deserve it.
So happy Garlic Day, and let us not be garlicky to those with whom we have everything needful in common.
Soli Deo Gloria,