Mike VanDerLinden - Timber Ridge Christian

 I love a good old-fashioned covered-dish meal.

There are always a variety of casseroles to choose from, numerous salads, plenty of macaroni and cheese, and lots of desserts. You can determine how good a covered-dish meal is by how much comfort food is nestled among onto the serving tables.

A covered dish meal, after all, is “chicken noodle soup” for those who aren’t sick.

I’m not someone who eats dessert regularly. But when I do, I love the choices I find at the dessert table. In fact, as I’m talking about desserts, are you beginning to get hungry.

Are you thinking about what dessert you’re going to have later today? Do you have a favorite?

When you go to the dessert table at a covered-dish meal, do you look over all your choices before deciding on which dessert you’ll have?

For argument’s sake, let’s say you pick the cheesecake. There will likely be more than one piece of cheesecake to choose from, right? Which one do you pick? Maybe it’s the biggest piece or the slice with the most toppings or the one that looks perfect.

No matter what criteria you use, you probably spend more time than you realize picking out your dessert.

What if the person sitting with you at the table where you are eating asked you to pick a dessert out for them? How would you go about deciding which one to get for them?

In Romans 13:9, Paul says that all of the commandments are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Picking out someone else’s dessert is a perfect opportunity to practice loving your neighbor.

To do that you might have to ask your neighbor to name a few of their favorite desserts. Asking them this simple question is a good start at getting to know them better.

Next, when you get to the dessert table, you can love your neighbor by taking as much care picking out their dessert as you would your own.

Loving your neighbor doesn’t have to be complicated. But it does take consideration. You will have to get to know your neighbor.

You will have to meditate on what it means to treat your neighbor the way you would treat yourself. This type of thinking works in other situations as well.

Things that test our; when your merging in traffic on the way to work, when you’re in line at the store and another lane opens up, when you’re dropping the kids off at school and the car ahead of you is taking some extra time.

Loving your neighbor can be as easy as loving dessert. Maybe you could start by inviting your neighbor over to share some ice cream this summer.

In the meantime, when you’re done reading the Hampshire Review, if you’re getting up to get yourself some dessert, I’ll take a piece of apple pie, please. Thanks. 

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