Why the little things get us riled up

Cartoon of a guy eating a sub sandwich at church

Cartoon of a guy eating a sub sandwich in a church pew while a disapproving elderly woman looks on. the caption reads, “It all began when they allowed coffee in the sanctuary…”

I thought of this idea when I saw a lively forum discussion about allowing or refusing coffee in a church’s sanctuary.  Some were vehemently opposed to such nonsense. Others were insistent that all parts of the church should be welcoming and as long as it wasn’t a distraction, why not?

Personally,  I bring my coffee with me into the sanctuary. There was a time this was a no-no in our church. But we let go of that controversy years ago. I haven’t seen anybody bring a full meal into the sanctuary.

When I was younger, I thought of having a pizza delivered into the sanctuary (That would have been a major faux pas then). Hey! if it’s good for the youth group, it would be good for the rest of the church, right? Fortunately, young love and marriage kept me from such foolishness before I had the money to try such a stunt.

It does amaze me how little things like this can get people worked up. We focus on these little irritations because it is so much more difficult to focus on the difficult issues. It’s much more difficult to love your neighbor than to have an opinion on coffee/church etiquette.

I drew this for the February, 2014, Church of God E-newsletter.

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Locusts for Lunch

Cartoon of  John the Baptist looking in a cabinet. He says. “Time for a trip to the store. I’m out of locusts.”

The story of John the Baptist has always piqued my interest. Just the beginning of the story made for some word pictures. Here’s what the passage reads in the book of Matthew:

1-2 While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”

3John and his message were authorized by Isaiah’s prophecy:

Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!

4-6John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey. People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action. There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life. (Matthew 3:1-6, The Message)

I wrote and illustrated a book on the topic a few years ago. You can see the cover at Amazon.com. It’s not available right now, but I’m going to see if it can be resurrected in pdf form. You may be able to get it at Warner Press.