Saturday, February 17, 2018


“Hey?! Where did you get that Dr. Pepper?” I asked.
“My friend bought it for me, because I had no money,” my son replied. 

“Where did you get those Skittles!?” I asked.
“My friend gave me a dollar, and I bought them at the concessions stand,” he answered. 

“Where did you get those Fritos!?”
“I traded the drink box from my lunch for them.”
“Where did you get those fruit snacks?”
“I traded my Clementine for them.”
“What did you eat for lunch?”
“Ummm….Fritos and fruit snacks…”
“That’s not a lunch!...What did you eat yesterday for lunch?”
“…Ummm…apparently nothing…”
“Why don’t you pack a lunch and eat a lunch?”
“I don’t like what we have to pack in a lunch.”
My son loves to eat…donuts, potato chips, ranch dip, pizza, cheeseburgers, chicken wings, cookies, Cheez-Its, Doritos, Salami…if it’s cold, cheese…if it’s cold, toasted bagel…if it’s hot…cream cheese…if it’s cold.  He does not like to eat…anything else.
Seriously!? What kid doesn’t like a peanut butter sandwich?...apparently my wife and I have generated one!
This has been an ongoing problem that my wife and I have been wrestling with him about.  Some of it was our fault for getting upset at finding out how he had been bringing his lunch back home and throwing the uneaten sandwich or bagel in the trash.  “Why are you throwing away your lunch?”
“I don’t like peanut butter sandwiches…I don’t like warm cream cheese on my cool toasted bagel”
“Then stop bringing it! You are wasting food!”
So now…he doesn’t eat…or at least he trades his cheese stick or Clementine for a bag of chips.
In John 13:13-30, we find Jesus predicting the betrayal that he will suffer at the hands of Judas.  Judas, has been with Jesus for three years…and yet, the importance of who Jesus is and what Jesus is about to do is lost on him.  Judas has something before him, that is good…in fact, great! Yet, he can only see the other items that he wants…money…prestige…high position.  Thus, Judas trades Jesus…for a bag of money.  Judas trades something good…for something empty.  He trades something “good for him”…for garbage.
Truth be told, I see the same in me.  I know full well, the rich, deep value of Jesus…and still, I find myself trading what I know is good for something empty.  I find emptiness in my anger.  I find emptiness in my gossip.  I find emptiness in my criticisms, selfishness, and apathy.
We do not have to trade Jesus for something empty…rather, we can embrace Jesus, and all that he brings.

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