How Much Faith Do You Put In The Words Of A ‘Fortune Cookie?’
“Sometimes it seems like everyone has gone out for Chinese food when it comes to empty pews during the summer,” I told Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan. He was asking me about my filling in for other pastors during the summer. I have two weeks of filling-in coming up, and Ed called when I was preparing for the services. Church attendance is what we call regular attendance. The same usual number, of worshippers each Sunday. In the summer, Sunday attendance may be considerably less depending on how many people are away on holidays.
“Do people stay away from church if they know their regular clergy person is gone?” Ed asked me. My answer was sometimes yes, and not necessarily every time. My old neighbor said I sounded like a politician with my answer. Ed said that if his pastor was going to be away, he should be able to take off from church also. I objected to his statement because Ed doesn’t go to church, so in truth, he is taking every Sunday off no matter what clergy person is there conducting the service. Ed told me that if he went to church, he wouldn’t get much out of it for his attention span is more suited for the message you get in a fortune cookie.
According to Ed, the slip of paper you get in a fortune cookie is ten words or less, and those words are promising. Who doesn’t want to hear the fortune cookie predict that success is in your future? I told Ed that he could put his faith in the message of a fortune cookie, for the messages often are what we want to hear. They can offer tidbits of wisdom, and they do have lucky numbers on each slip. The cookies are popular. Wonton Foods, the biggest manufacturer of fortune cookies, may ship as many as five million cookies daily. Wonton Foods pays a team of freelance writers to keep the messages new and fresh. The Company has a database of 15,000 messages. (reference: The Week)
I told Ed that people come to church because it offers them in the worship service the word of God read, and preached, and administered to the worshippers in the sacraments. The Bible shows how in the past, God spoke through the prophets at many times and in many ways, but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. The Bible is not ten words or less but two Testaments, the Old Testament, and the New Testament. The Bible is clear on the truth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. The Old Testament promises the coming Savior, and the New Testament tells of Jesus Christ, the Savior who has come.
Christians understand that unlike other books, the Bible, or Holy Scripture is God’s Word and truth. We gather around God’s Word at church because God the Holy Spirit gave his chosen writers the thoughts that they expressed and the words that they wrote. All Scripture is God-breathed. (2 Tim. 3:16-17) All the Scriptures testify about Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”