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March 13, 2017 “The Wedding Cake—Inside and Out”

Wikipedia says that the wedding industry in America was worth 53.4 billion dollars in the year 2013.  Amazing!  Who would imagine that we spend that much money—perhaps even more in 2017—on weddings?  But when we think about the individual “pieces” of the industry—the clothing industry, the venues industry, the photography industry, and on and on—the costs add up!

I remember our own family’s involvement in planning a wedding and of trying to help the day live up to all our expectations.  I remember particularly our process of selecting the bakery.

It was important to go to various bakeries and to hear their “pitch” about the various sizes and shapes and descriptions of cakes they could make.  We heard about various kinds of layers and about the different kinds of icings they could put on top.  It was my first time to learn about fondant icings and to begin to understand how hard they are to make and why they, therefore, come at a premium price-tag.

We thought we had done our due diligence.  We selected the kind of layers we wanted, the kind of icing we wanted, the kind of design we wanted.  We left the cake-topper in their hands trusting that they would take great care of it and place it on top of the cake when it arrived at the reception venue.

The day came.  The cake arrived.  It was beautiful.  It lived up to our every expectation—lived up to our expectations insofar as looks are concerned.

The problem was that when we put the first bites into our mouths we had to fight back grimaces and make every effort, in polite company, to actually swallow what was there instead of spitting it out!  How could anything that looked so beautiful on the OUTSIDE be so terrible when we put it INSIDE our mouths and tried to swallow it?

Jesus had many words of warning about things that look good on the OUTSIDE but that fail miserably in terms of what is on the INSIDE.  Jesus had many words of admonition about folks who “talk the talk but fail to walk the walk.”

Lent is a time of year for self-examination.  It is an excellent time to pray the prayer, “Lord, help me not to simply talk the talk but to also walk the walk.  It is a time of year when we can look deep inside to see if we see there signs of the grace and love of Christ lived out in the world toward fellow human beings.

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