Seeing with “new” eyes

Pastor Jean Newell, Associate Pastor at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church

Pastor Jean Newell, Associate Pastor at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church

“Nothing says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven … and Pillsbury says it best!” How many times did we sing along with the jingle as the Pillsbury Doughboy, “Poppin’ Fresh,” stood grinning in the center of a Thanksgiving dinner table next to a basket of biscuits or on a kitchen counter handing someone a holiday cookie cutter? To this day, most likely any time we hear that jingle, images come to mind of family and friends, food and fun!

Holidays and food seem to go together, don’t they? Maybe as you’re reading this, you’re thinking of a family favorite: a favorite dish that makes a holiday special! For me, that would be my mom’s cinnamon rolls that graced our breakfast table on holiday mornings. However, there is more to holidays than food, is there not?

Holidays are to celebrate events, to commemorate contributions made by individuals or groups of people and to call to mind who we are in the world in which we live. Holidays are a time to remember.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, may we remember what the apostle Paul wrote from prison in Philippi, “…for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11b-13)

Because of recent events, this holiday season, people will face an empty chair at the table, those who don’t have chairs or tables and those who have little in the way of shelter or food. As the holidays draw near, may we be intentional about spending time with loved ones, knowing time is precious. May we see with “new” eyes how we are blessed from a bed to sleep in, to running water, to grocery shelves that are stocked with food. May we give thanks to God, even in the midst of life’s struggles, we can lean on God, for God is ever with us guiding us and giving us strength.