There is an ice cream shop in Venezuela that claims to have over 900 different flavors of ice cream.  That’s right….over 900 flavors.  There are your normal flavors like vanilla and chocolate and strawberry.   There are more adventuresome flavors like cherry and peanut butter or cookies and lemon flavored.  There are also some extreme flavors.  Some of the flavors are ones I don’t know that I’d touch, even on my craziest days.  Flavors like:  avocado, mushroom and wine, spaghetti and cheese, trout, and salmon. If none of those have your tummy growling, there are also tuna fish, onion, spinach, and fried pork rind flavors as well. 


Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?  I have friends who are plain vanilla type of guys and other friends who are more adventurous.   Most of the time, if we go out to get some ice cream, everyone picks and eats their own favorite flavor, and everyone is happy.  But there are times that something else happens.


Sometimes we get together, especially for birthdays and some thing so common but interesting happens.   The birthday cake will come out with more candles than should be allowed on a cake, we sing some off key version of Happy Birthday, the cake is divided up, and then it happens.  You know what I’m talking about.  What goes with cake?   That’s right.  Ice cream. It’s not 900 different flavors, but just one flavor that goes with the cake.  (It’s never tuna fish or pork rind flavored!)  And we all eat it.  And we all have a blast.


Sometimes, even in our uniqueness, there’s something about feeling like we are one together.    The author of the Gospel of John put it this way:  “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.  As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  John 17: 20-23


There’s something amazing that happens when we can see ourselves as one, intertwined by a common yet extraordinary faith.  That’s why I love the Lenten Series that the Shawnee Ministerial Alliance hosts every year.  Each week, on Thursdays, from noon – 1p.m we gather at a different church and we worship together.   Then we eat together and talk and share a few moments of life together.  All these different flavors of ice cream gathered in one spot, to worship One God and to reflect on the journey of Jesus Christ during this Lenten Season leading up to Easter.


You should join us.   To change up your lunch once a week.  To make new friends.  To worship and sing and pray.  To eat.  To see what a bunch of different flavors look like when they are all in one place, for one purpose, and one focus as followers of Christ.  I hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 27:  First Christian Church

Thursday, March 5:  St. Paul’s United Methodist Church

Thursday, March 12:  First Baptist Church

Thursday, March 19:  St. John Lutheran Church

Thursday, March 26:  Wesley United Methodist Church

Thursday, April 2:  St. Benedict Catholic Church

Good Friday, April 10:  Emmanuel Episcopal


Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris Dodson