Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mustard Evangelism

[This is my church newsletter column for this week.]

July 21 was National Ice Cream Day. Today, July 23, is National Hot Dog Day. The first Saturday in August, which this year falls on the 3rd, is National Mustard Day.

You have to love summer.

I propose we have a day when we eat hot dogs with mustard followed by ice cream! And there’s no day like today …

Speaking of National Mustard Day—it was established in 1991 by the National Mustard Museum which was at the time located in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin but which you can now visit in beautiful Middleton, Wisconsin, which just happens to be where our son Joshua and his wife Michelle live. We’ve been to Middleton three times and each time we have made a pilgrimage to the Mustard Museum.

It’s a cool place.

The museum is downstairs; there you can enjoy all sorts of exhibits about the history of mustard and view over 5500 types of prepared mustard from all fifty states and more than seventy countries. You can even watch a film about mustard in the MustardPiece Theatre! They have a great store upstairs where you can sample and purchase hundreds of different mustard products—my favorite of the dozens I’ve sampled is Wisconsin’s own Lakeside’s Horseradish Mustard.

As I have matured in my condiment understanding, I have come to understand, along with the good people of Chicago (where I once spent three days) that mustard is the perfect condiment for a hot dog but that ketchup has no place on one. Of course, you may like ketchup on your hot dog and that is fine; we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

There’s probably a lesson in that about how we should think about the disagreements we have with the way that someone else experiences and expresses her or his faith.

Anyway, if you’re ever in the Madison, Wisconsin area, I really hope you’ll visit the National Mustard Museum. I like it and I like you and I think you would like it.

And I hope you will, as we are encouraging you to do, invite someone to come to church. After all, you love the Lord and you love your friends and you are sure that they would love the Lord, too. So invite them because you love them …

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