Good to be back in the pew and sharing with you. Ah, cotton candy, a familiar sight and part of fairs, circuses, carnivals and Japanese festivals. Cotton candy (also known as fairy floss in Australia and candy floss in South Africa, the UK, New Zealand and Ireland) is a form of spun sugar. Faith and cotton candy, is not the easiest choice for a blog but interesting and plausible. The process that takes the sugar and small amounts of food coloring to that big mass of joyful fun that disappears in a poof, when placed in your mouth, is simple. The final cotton candy product contains mostly air, with a typical serving weighing around 1 ounce or 30 grams. To me the thing that I noticed first when reading about the process was the use of hot air, turning the sugar to a liquid and then spinning it through small holes where the mixture then solidifies and becomes that magical substance that melts in you mouth. Poof, it is gone!
It is impossible for most of us to assimilate the events of these days, they happen so fast, encompassing every aspect of our lives. The issues that are driven by an ever-changing culture and the pressures they put on our work, home and family financially and the things we value are at times overwhelming. Life today is kinda like a midway. There are so many things to do, some of value and worth and some are just distractions we escape to for time away from the demands of life itself. There was a time when the church was a constant in an ever-changing world but even the church today is being distracted by the ever-growing glow of the Midway of societal change in values and practices. It could be that I am a bit over zealous here but it seems to me we are turning God’s Word into cotton candy. The word as shared by the church today is much like cotton candy, containing mostly air and when ingested…..Poof, it is gone!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
To teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, must be added the necessity of preparation for serving God. Unfortunately for many Christians today, It has become a matter of convenience. I wish to be on record that I’m at fault sometimes in regard to that convenience thing and finding fault with others does not help our calling. What might we do instead? Let’s turn to our pew bible and the Book of James, chapter 1, verse 1.
James 1:1 GREETINGS
James, the slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greetings to the twelve tribes who are scattered throughout the world.
Following James as an example might be one of “The Good Ways” to go. There is a lot of the good way in this first verse. Right off in this verse James makes it plain that the only description of who he is or was, would be to know him as the slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Quite a tall order in these days. How will people describe us, you and I and the church in conversations around the water cooler. Paul, who holds a place of great respect in the church also referred to himself as a slave but always added and his apostle when writing or introducing himself.
It is as if James put a period after slave, no need to go any farther. James implies absolute obedience. What does it mean to be a slave? You have no rights of your own; you are the absolute property of your master and unquestioning obedience is required. That definition alone takes us off the midway and sets us down squarely in the reality of service to God, Christ and the Church. James doesn’t stop there. He implies that absolute humility is necessary. In what way? You become a person who thinks of duties not privileges, of obligations not rights. You become someone who places self last and service to God first. The verse continues on to suggest absolute loyalty. Personal gain or preference should not influence decisions.
James found his freedom and peace and glory in perfect submission to the will of God. All of us in this world of cotton candy need to avoid the sugar, hot air and spin that ends in a Poof……the best we can seek is to be a slave of God,Christ and the Church.
Life is Good
Reference Materials Wikipedia / DBS William Barclay