No, not a review of the amusing little novel of this name, nor yet a health warning, just a description of a church - any church - that seeks to be inclusive, the theme we are playing with this morning (and anyone who reads blogs before worship will get a few clues as to some of the thoughts in my mind this week!)
Part of our service will involve some 'pick 'n' mix' type sweets as a way in to thinking about inclusion, exclusion, preferences, prejudices, necessities and niceties (well at least that's the sermon I might have written if I'd had six months to prepare it!). So, I have some sweets that suitable for veggies and some that aren't (they contain gelatine); some that I can eat and some I can't (they contain paprika extract); some with nuts, some without; some diabetics could probably get away with, some they can't; some I like and some I don't. But that's kind of the point really - there are chocies to be made and nothing can suit absolutely everyone but can we find a way to accommodate most without losing the heart of what we are about?
A week or two back I was pondering the possibility of using a biscuit assortment for this purpose, and asking people what kinds of biscuit you never find in a selection box and why. I think the answer is a ginger nut, because it taints all the others. But what if church was like a box of biscuits and Jesus was the ginger nut who manages to taint all the others with something of God's love, mercy and grace? I guess I can only be sacked once for blasphemy, so it's worth posting my rather odd analogy I think! What if we, too, were the nuts (ginger or otherwise) who tainted the world around us with the love of God in Christ? Might that be not too far away from being salt, yeast or light?