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Ketchup or Catsup?

Peace be with you (John 20:19) Pentecost Sunday

I'll bet you didn't know that Ketchup v. Catsup was a landmark United States Supreme Court case involving two, tomato-based condiments. The case stemmed from an argument among American consumers on the correct spelling of the word pronounced 'catch-up.' The controversy over this condiment actually began nearly 500 years earlier when the tasty paste was developed as a by-product of the Spanish-American War. -1 If you don't believe me, that case was cited on the Internet, and we all know if it's on the Internet, it must be true! Actually, the Ketchup v. Catsup case comes from the creative minds at a satirical web site called "Uncyclopedia," which is descried as the "mothership of amateur comedy writing." Funny, huh? Obviously, the alleged case is absurd, but it does raise the question: which side are you on, Ketchup or Catsup?

During World War II, Joe Louis, the champion heavyweight boxer, was one of several celebrities scheduled to say a few words at a fund-raising rally for the Navy Relief Society. "I was nervous," Louis said. "I didn't know what to say. Somebody told me the President would be listening on the radio, so I especially wanted to get my speech off to a good start. Just before I was called up to the mic, I asked a friend sitting next to me how I ought to start off. He told me to say something upbeat about the war, like, 'My fellow Americans, God is on our side!' As I walked up to the stage, I stumbled on the steps and lost my concentration, so instead, when I got to the mic I said, 'My fellow Americans we are on God's side.'" Mr. Louis may have stumbled on the steps, but he didn't stumble at the mic. It's never a question of whether or not "God is on our side." Rather, it's a question of whether or not we are on God's side.

In today's Gospel Lesson, it is the evening of the first Easter and Jesus' disciples are huddled behind closed doors, fearing for their lives. Jesus had been executed. Would they [...]

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 Ketchup or Catsup?
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Stories you can use...

We've got a million of them (well, almost).

Sunday School

“Miss Murphy” was a dedicated young woman who taught the kindergarten Bible class in her church school. She was very much loved by her little students. One morning, while the children were memorizing the Twenty-third Psalm, the pastor dropped in for a brief visit. He listened attentively as the children recited, The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want... But when they got down to the last verse, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life... the pastor detected something wrong. Consequently, the children were asked to repeat the lines. And it was discovered that one little boy was saying, at the top of his voice, Surely good Miss Murphy shall follow me all the days of my life.

God, presence of, Peace

“The Heavens declare the Glory of God, the vault of Heaven proclaims His handiwork” (Psalms 19:1). If you have ever been to Niagara Falls, you may have taken a ride on the boat called “Maid of the Mist.” Ernie Nivens took that ride and, for him, it was one of those awesome experiences — a touch of the wonder and the glory of God. He says: The boat headed straight for the base of the majestic falls. The closer we got the slower we moved. Water was showering all about us and we couldn’t hear each other over the tumultuous thunder. Suddenly, we broke through the curtain into a place of peace. Behind us the water rolled from above and the sides. Ahead the falls were so close we sensed we could reach out for a touch. But there was a sense of peace which must be like being in the eye of a hurricane. Looking up, beautifully arched over our heads, was a rainbow. The wonder of it all filled our eyes with tears. I held my breath and listened closely for I knew that at any moment some great choir would break out in Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” There was peace in the midst of the storm! There was God in the midst of the storm!

Christian Values

John Adcock wrote a poem in which he speculates on how a child would react if his toy lion should come to life and how a Christian would react if Jesus should suddenly appear. In the poem, the child simply could not handle the situation. Adcock concludes the poem with these lines: Leave us our toys then! Happier we shall stay if they remain but toys, and we can play with them, and do with them as suits us best. Reality would add to our unrest. We want no Living Christ, whose truth intense pretends to no belief in our pretense; and flashing on all folly and deceit, would blast our world to ashes at our feet. We do but ask to see no more of Him below, than is displayed in the dead plaything our own hands have made, to lull our fears and comfort us in loss: the wooden Christ upon the wooden cross?

Conformity

One method of catching crabs is to use a wire basket with a single hole on top. Bait is secured inside the basket which the crabber then lowers into the water. Slowly at first, a crab comes along, enters the trap and begins eating the bait. Then others follow and join the feast. If the crabber has selected a good spot, the basket soon is filled with crabs and remains so even after all the bait has been devoured. At this point, the crabs are free to leave the basket through the hole they came in. But they do not. Instead, they keep each other trapped in the cage. If one of them tries to leave through the hole, the others immediately gang up on it and even fight to the death to prevent its liberation. And so the crabs remain together in this condition until they are hoisted out of the water - - victims of an almost humanlike tendency to exercise the kind of control over others that seeks to entrap them — to conform them to things as they are, and deny them the liberating experience of striving for things as they ought to be.

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