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News -> Pastor's Column Wednesday, January 14, 2015
 
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"Sushi and Christianity"

By Pastor Jerry Selleck
Holton United Methodist Church

I still remember my first taste of sushi. Our daughter, Kari, who is a chef, was determined to get my wife and I to sample this Japanese delicacy, and she wouldn’t stop talking about it. So, on a visit to her apartment in Chicago, we finally said ‘yes,’ and she dragged us to the finest sushi shop she could find. Among all the menu possibilities, both raw and cooked, she chose several options for us. We watched the sushi chef put together our order with all the skill of a master artist.

  Kari had me start on ‘eel,’ which is a cooked sushi. So, with chop-sticks in hand, and a dip in the soy sauce, I put the whole thing in my mouth. Wow! I sensed tastes and textures I haven’t experienced before, and they are difficult to describe. The eel, vegetables, rice, and seaweed were sweet, smoky, and savory. I moved on from the eel to raw tuna and salmon, and liked each one more than the last. I couldn’t believe I was loving the very food I had warily avoided all my life!

  Rarely do I come across someone who has tried good sushi, and disliked it. Those who hate it, just hate the ‘sound’ of it. I know how they feel…. I have been there myself. They can’t imagine liking seafood served this way, and so they are disgusted by the thought.   But you can’t dismiss the fact that millions of people rave over this Japanese delicacy. There must be something to it.

  Finally, the reason Kari insisted on starting with good sushi, was because there is a lot of bad sushi out there, made with poor ingredients by the inexperienced. She knew if we started poorly, we’d never continue. So, I make three conclusions:

1) Don’t judge what you haven’t experienced.

2) Some things are unexplainable in human language.

3) Beware of poor imitations.

   When I think of Christianity, I can draw a few similarities:

1) To the non-believer, it sounds like nonsense. How could anyone believe in a God they can’t see, and a man dying in a cross 2,000 years ago? Don’t judge what you haven’t experienced.

2) To those who make the commitment, who immerse themselves in the life of Faith, the experience is quite unexplainable. We try to describe it, but it always falls short.

3) Many have experienced ‘bad’ Christianity, full of judgment and raw hypocrisy, and so they paint the entire religion that way. Beware of poor imitations. 

  I don’t want to stretch this sushi-Christianity analogy too far, but Christianity wouldn’t be worth too much if it wasn’t out of the ordinary. Our Lord offers us a heavenly experience, both for this life, and the life to come. Are we willing to leave our worldly drudgery behind, and commit to something more? It might be time to pick up the chop-sticks and try something unexplainable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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