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Monday, August 1, 2011

Twinkie Bread

By John Telgren

It seems kind of strange to say, "Twinkie bread." Isn't this an oxymoron? Yet at the story, the Twinkies are often either on the bread aisle or at the end-cap of the bread aisle. I remember being at my grandmother's house growing up and receiving my daily Twinkie from her. It was considered a snack. Those were different times. Snacks now usually consist of a piece of fruit, juice, a small sandwich with "real" bread, or something a bit more nutritional.

Have you ever done an experiment and compared a Twinkie with a slice of bread on the countertop for a few days? Which will win? The Twinkie will still be a Twinkie in a few days because it will not grow mold. And the winner IS ... THE TWINKIE! Tadaaaaaa! So, since the Twinkie is more robust, since it does not grow mold, since it seems to have more staying power, and since it is sweet to the taste, then it MUST mean it is superior to the slice of bread right?

The reason Twinkie will not grow mold and can survive a nuclear holocaust is because it has no real nutritional value. It is most definitely NOT true bread. If you live off of Twinkies, your health will quickly show it.

The world offers us a Twinkie. It is sweet, it looks appealing, and it even comes in a nice, neat, individual wrapper. Most people recognize the Twinkie of certain immoral pleasures for what they are, whether it involves drugs, casual sexual activity, dishonesty to get what doesn't belong to you, etc. It is clear to see how this is a dead end and may only be sweet for a moment. However, there is also the Twinkie of worldly success, accumulation, popularity, personal significance, etc., that can taste really sweet for a very long time. It can make you feel significant and important. It can make you feel like you have truly climbed the ladder and accomplished something. However, even for all of its sweetness it still has no real lasting value. It might seem to give some immediate gratification, but does not truly satisfy in the long run.

There is only one true bread of life that will satisfy, and that is Jesus Christ (Jn 6:32ff). Everything else leads to death. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst" (Jn 6:35). We must come to Jesus, and we must believe in him. This means following him, doing as he instructs, becoming like him, valuing what he values. This means becoming the least, which in his kingdom is the greatest. This means being downwardly mobile rather than upward. This means eating with and being with tax collectors and sinners. This means placing your personal ambitions on the altar as a living sacrifice and making your ambition to be pleasing to him (2 Cor 5:9). As we eat this true bread, we will find true life, peace, and satisfaction in the only place we can, which is in the hands of our Lord.

- John Telgren preachers for the Leavenworth church of Christ in Leavenworth, KS. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.lcofc.org

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