The theology of the chocolate sampler [Studies in 1 Corinthians]

One day you bring me a large, beautiful box of chocolates. There are all kinds, too, every type imaginable: some with nuts or cookies or caramel; some with raisins or cherries or other fruits; some with dark or light or white chocolate or a mixture. It’s the wide variety that makes it so impressive – and probably expensive – gift.

But what do I do? I bite into one at a time, and not finding what I like I look for another. Not only that, but I’m rude enough to spit the candy into the trash can while you watch, and make a face of disgust. I don’t even bother tasting the white ones before throwing them away. I only like the ones with dark chocolate, I say, glaring as if I blame you for not giving me just those. Chocolate dribbles down from my mouth as I spit out one after another of the expensive candies. I make loud satisfied noises when I gobble up the kind that I like.

I have a suspicion that we do the same thing with God’s gifts. He sends our way a wide variety of his servants. He sends a pastor who is not a deep preacher but whose specialty is visiting the sick and helping the needy. He sends other people who write all sorts of good books. He sends us teachers, all of them different. I am not speaking here, of course, of false teachers or deceivers, but of the various true servants of God. (more…)