Pumpkin spice faith is sweet to those around us - Camp Lejeune Globe: Faith

Pumpkin spice faith is sweet to those around us

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Posted: Friday, October 26, 2018 9:00 am

Well, it is that time of the year. From the grocery store shelves to the coffee shops, everything is coming up pumpkin spice. From breakfast to dinner, with even dog treats in between, we could eat pumpkin flavorings all day long. My wife offered me a taste of her pumpkin beverage the other day … and she does not need to worry about me stealing a second sip. I grew up in a part of the country where autumn’s arrival was marked by fresh apple cider and the first changing leaves. However, I must admit that pumpkin spice seems to have taken over.

The Bible doesn’t say much about pumpkin, but we are repeatedly treated to images of seasonings. The key to the concept is that seasoning does not define a food, but it invites the taster to experience that food in a different way. Pumpkin spice coffee is still, at its root, coffee. Pumpkin spice Cheerios are still Cheerios. Pumpkin spice beverages are still … well, I’m still not sure about that one.

So we are invited to consider how our faith is made more appealing — how it is experienced by others in richer goodness. Colossians 4 says: “Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.”

This is urging people of faith to think about how to relate wisely with the world: to embrace the maturity and insight that will both accomplish more, and keep better relationships. It emphasizes especially our speech, reminding us to be full of grace.

Our faith is not defined by its “seasonings” of conduct and speech. Its core is deep inside: shaping how we think and see the world, driving our relationships with God, with others and even with ourselves. But as soon as we come in contact with others, it is the seasonings that determine how that faith will be experienced. What does my faith taste like to those I meet through the day? We have all seen that car with a religious bumper sticker, cutting people off in traffic and seasoning the driver’s faith with bitterness. We have heard people of faith gossiping or cutting others down, making their faith taste rancid. But we have also tasted the sweetness of kindness, humor and selflessness.

In a world full of angry and divisive rhetoric, of bitter rivalries and sour attitudes, perhaps the flavors of the season can act as a reminder that our words and actions can yet be a tasty treat in the lives of others. So pass the pumpkin cookies, pour me a pumpkin coffee, keep the pumpkin beverages to yourself … and let a pumpkin spice faith spread grace to this community and beyond.

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