April 16, 2008
Jesus in a Cheetos Bag
Easter Morning, March 23, 2008
While waiting for my ride to meet me at the hotel, I wandered downstairs for the continental breakfast. I poured some juice, nuked a burrito, grabbed a few salsa packets and sat down in the occupied, but rather quiet, lounge.
I focused my attention on a light-hearted news feed running on the flat screen TV about a Houston, TX , youth minister. My first thought was, “Oh, how silly. Surely there are other more Easter appropriate news stories out there."
Here are a few excerpts from that interview:
People come to Memorial Drive United Methodist to worship, to feel close to God. You might expect to see Jesus in a place like this. "They are searching for something. Looking for something," said youth minister Steve Cragg.
It would be no shock to find a symbol of Jesus in a church. But Cragg did not find this Jesus hanging on the wall; he found it in a bag of Cheetos.
“I was fixing to eat it," said Cragg. “And that is the image I saw. It is not something you have to work to see. I don't think the heavenly choir actually started singing, but in my mind they did."
The chip has quite a reputation. Some call it The Cheeto. Others call it J Cheeto. “But one of the guys just looked very calmly and said, his name shall be Cheesus," said Cragg. The nickname has caught on.
The folks at Memorial Drive United Methodist know this is no miracle. It is a Cheeto. But that does not mean it cannot serve a higher purpose.
"If you are looking for God in different places you can find God in different places," said Cragg. "I don't think God makes Cheetos that look like Jesus. I'm not sure grilled cheese sandwiches look like the Virgin Mary," said Cragg. “I do know that God reveals himself to us in a lot of different ways."
That’s when people started talking, all at once, some getting louder than others. Pretty soon the room was filled with words. I heard words like, offensive, heretic, commercialism, and disrespectful.
I also heard, “Taking the grandkids to the splash park today," “Having dinner at my daughter’s," “Just in town to go shopping." Not one single agitated voice mentioned attending church on Easter Sunday.
I sat back and tried to understand why these people, with apparently no plans of going to church on Easter Sunday, seemed so offended. After a while, I changed my mind. This was no longer a silly, inappropriate story. Sadly, it seems to me that my dining room companions may have missed the point.
In my opinion if someone opens a Cheetos bag, which happens at least 1 billion times a year, and Jesus crosses their mind, this is a joy.
If a corn snack starts people thinking more seriously about their lives, amen!
If a cheesy orange puff opens one person’s eyes to looking for messages from God, amen!
I’m not saying it’s impossible that someone might find GOD at the water park today.
I’m just agreeing with this particular youth minister that GOD is where you look.
When HE crosses your mind, it doesn’t matter how or in what form, it just matters that HE does.
Posted by jaselin at April 16, 2008 06:28 AM