Friday, November 9, 2007

Appreciating Potlucks

Recently at my son's cub scout meeting, it was announced by the pack leader that at the next meeting we were going to celebrate Thanksgiving "potluck style." She then asked if the boys knew what a potluck was. Only about half of them knew. My first thought - these boys have never worshipped with the churches of Christ.

Everybody who has spent anytime in the church has something they can remember about potlucks. I have a ton of memories. Maybe you can identify with a few:

1. There are the memories of potlucks at the Livingston church of Christ. If you have never had a bum steer than you have never been to a Livingston potluck. Also, if you needed a report on edible dishes you could ask Nikki Boyd. She was the one who would make sure everybody knew which dish a certain family had brought. This is because their countertops were napping spots for their many cats. Also, their children would drink straight from the 2-liters.

2. There are the memories of potlucks at the Turlock church of Christ. These were given a special name by my sister's father-in-law. To protect all parties I will not give the name, but he called them "(last name here) Sundays." That is because a certain family, who came maybe once a month, could be counted on for the potlucks. If there was a meal, they were there and they were first in line. You could also see them filling up plates "to go."

3. There are the memories of potlucks at the Buena Park church of Christ. I only remember these because I was young and remember how much fun we had just spending time with friends. I remember eating hot dogs in the summertime out in the grass between the buildings. This was a great time in my life, and I had some of my best friendships and moments of spiritual growth in these years. My parents also were in charge of youth group events, so I was exposed to many older teenagers who were Christians. I still remmeber the ice-cream supper night when my friend David's younger brother ran into a pew and split his head open.

4. There are memories of potlucks with special people long since past. Many dishes we have admired from great cooks are no longer available. You know what I am talking about. Nobody could make a pie, or pickles, or fried chicken like sister you know who. But this is not what we miss. We miss their generosity, friendship, and their Christian attitude of service. We miss their presence in our lives. We miss their smiles and their examples.

David Pinckley has instructed me on the finer art of naming these meals. He does not like to call them potlucks, but rather, "covered- dish" dinners or suppers. I guess some people would like to remove all luck from the equation. But I do think there is luck involved. Perhaps we can call it providence. This is because I am so thankful that my son and myself were not in the group who didn't know what a potluck was. So we can be thankful for the fellowship of the saints in all of its different forms. We understand because we are children of God.

"that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me." ~ Romans 1:12

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