It is very comforting to know of your love and support in helping me deal with the atrocity in our office workroom. Many have said “they felt my peanut pain.” Some even said that it made their stomachs turn just to think about someone violating my peanut butter in such an uncouth way. And others brought peanut butter, for which I am very thankful. One person trying to slow my investigation, brought a jar of peanut butter with a ring on top. Others have made suggestions about the culprit. One class believed it was Leslie and our “Chief of Bulletins,” Joe Powell, concurred with their opinion. Since they were so sure, I hurried to the worship center and checked Leslie’s ring finger to see, but alas it was not her. To be honest, she acted a bit indignant about whole matter, stating that she would declare her innocence to the whole congregation. It almost made me wonder if she had gone to a pawn shop and bought something cheap to hide her guilt, but I remember her saying that her first ring came from the pawn shop and her next one would be from a recognized jewelry store like K-Mart. And besides that she is my one and only daughter, and I trust her with my life, so I know she is innocent. Sadly, I was hit again this week. This time a new jar, unopened, ruined with what seems to be fingers with long fingernails, but no ring. Anytime something of this nature takes place; an invasion, an alien in the office, a person without the knowledge of acceptable, civilized behavior, trespasses, it is essential to take preemptive steps. I installed a small undetectable camera in the workroom. It will record every movement. It will pick up Julie going to the refrigerator to see if there is anything new. It will film Mary Jane dozed off in front of the server, pretending she is working on it. And it will catch Bill practicing the words “outstanding” and “astounding.” This preemptive step will video the peanut butter puncher in the act. I also placed sharp objects in the bountiful butter. It will not hurt them or cause their finger to bleed in the delicious, luscious, creamy petrified peanut juice, but it will shock them and result in a loud cry. One of the things we know about people that would do something like this, is that they are uncultured creatures that are capable of almost anything. At times my emotions run wild and I begin to dislike this person. What kind of monster would pompously poison the perfect plane of a precious pot of prime peanut butter fresh from the market? When I buy a jar, I open it and refuse to prematurely dig into the golden brown treasure until I have savored the smell and delighted in the unaffected perfect surface. I relish the thought of one day being around people just like me, people that would never puncture the butter, people that have been taught that there are a lot of things acceptable, but it is never acceptable to use a digit to dive down deep in the delicious delicacy drawn from the delightful peanut. A question popped in my mind, “What if there are more than one, what if others have put a digit in the distinctive, delectable, delicious dish?” Could it be that others can’t resist wrongfully abusing the most sophisticated of appealing, appetizing, and enchanting pantry treasures, but only one gave up a wedding ring for the tantalizing, tasty, tongue treasure? I will not pawn the ring until I have reviewed the camera tapes. Then and only then will I know the truth. Then and only then will I know if there is one guilty person or a church full. I am looking for the truth. In the meantime, I have your ring.
This morning in our worship service we will take a look at a great truth found in the Gospel of John. In essence, church is about investigating, discovering, experiencing and living out the truth. I hope you join us for our search for truth. And more importantly I hope you live the truth you have discovered every day.