My father’s favorite treat is under attack.
Shortly after I turned 14 his cardiologist put him on a high fiber low fat diet. Chocolate ice cream sodas with zero fiber and gobs of fat did not make the cut. Fortunately his cardiologist also told him to cheat, to live a little, and thus make this severe diet livable.
The intervening years have not been kind to chocolate ice cream sodas. Drug store soda counters have nearly disappeared. These oases were once staffed by a soda jerk, who knew from memory just the right amount of milk and chocolate syrup to add to a tall glass before squirting in seltzer water while leaving room to drop in two scoops of chocolate ice cream.
Further dietitians have launched an attack on sugary drinks, noting connections between those who regularly consume such and obesity, diabetes, and heart disease as they favor fruit smoothies that at least have some vitamin value.
If not for the celebration of chocolate ice cream soda day, may father’s favorite treat would soon disappear.
I fear that the gospel is under a similar attack. While some would attack Christianity head on, calling it foolishness or the opiate of the people. Culture has a more dangerous weapon: creating alternative events and tasks that draw people away. At first only for an occasional Sunday, which eventually becomes every Sunday.
The apostle Paul may have written what we know as the Second Letter to Timothy during his final imprisonment. In it he wrote that he suffered “hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”
What do we endure everything for the sake of the elect?
I will have more to say about 2 Timothy 2:8-14 on Chocolate Ice Cream Soda Day, Sunday, October 9th, 2016 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor