Ice cream is good. Ice cream in itself is not sinful – it can be a blessing. But not always.
Let’s look at three different reactions to wanting a bowl of ice cream
One friend tells you “I want a bowl of ice cream, but I’m going to a birthday party tomorrow.” You think to yourself, “Fifty-fifty chance they’re having ice cream tonight, maybe sixty-forty.”
Another friend tells you “I want a bowl of ice cream. However, I’m trying to lose ten pounds for the holidays.” You recognize there’s different motivation, and think there’s a decent chance your friend will go without ice cream.
A third friend tells you “I want a bowl of ice cream. Nevertheless, I’m diabetic, and I ran out of the medication, and I don’t want to die.” There’s motivation, and conviction, and strong willpower. No ice cream for that friend. No way.
But. However. Nevertheless. Three words, all in the same group, with different intensities.
Jesus, on the night before He was crucified, had a talk with His Father. In Mark 14:36, He prays, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Abba means Daddy – that’s very intimate. The cup is not a glass, not the wine from the Last Supper – it is the cup of pain, suffering, and dying on the cross. Nevertheless means that God the Father makes the decision. Jesus carries it out.
And that’s what we’re celebrating here – the grape juice that symbolizes Jesus’ blood, the wafer that symbolizes His body. Because regardless of what Jesus wanted, He did what He had to. All who have said “The world pulls me. Nevertheless, I choose Jesus” are invited to partake. Let’s pray.
Father God, the pull of ice cream, the pull of the world is strong. You are stronger. Thank you for the Holy Spirit strengthening Jesus, and us, in times of testing. In Jesus’ name, amen.