Remember that commercial with the little old lady peeping over the counter and asking, “Where’s the beef?” (I used to love that sassy little lady.) Sunday my pastor told a story about when he worked at McDonald’s. His first assignment was to assemble twelve burgers in two minutes. After two days he was finally able to meet the quota and was popping the buttons of his shirt with pride. Then a hullaballoo at the registers got his attention. In his focus on condiment stacking perfection and the time challenge he had forgotten to actually put burgers on the burgers. He wrapped them up beautifully and sent them out in orders burgerless. Those poor customers were left wondering, like the lady from the commercial, “Where is the beef?”
Can you imagine ordering a burger and being given a bun with condiments with not even a hint of meat? That would make for some unhappy campers. Where’s the beef, indeed!
Yet I wonder how many of us are missing the meat in our relationship with God in much the same way. (I know that was quite a segue, but just go with it.) We go to church, volunteer to help at the food bank, maybe even host a group at our home. Our faith looks good. But when it comes to the meat of the gospel, are we cheating ourselves? Are we missing the meat to load up on extras?
Going to church is wonderful. Helping the needy? Hoorah. Volunteering? Selfless and admirable. All these things are amazing gifts that are needed and appreciated. But without a daily relationship with Jesus all that is just a bun with condiments. It is not filling. It is not satisfying. It is not soul-saving.
The gospel is that Jesus was sent by God, that He was crucified for the sins of mankind, buried, and rose again. That’s the message. Everything else is a condiment.
[This would be a good place for a coupon for a free burger. I don’t have one to offer. However, if you would like to discuss Jesus over a good burger sometime, message me.]
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 NLT