If You’re Feeling A Bit Blue, Downright Bankrupt, … or Generally in Need of a Twinkie

August 5, 2013 | 4 comments

While our family is celebrating birthdays (my favorite farmer turns 42 today, and my mom turns 74 tomorrow) one of the finest preachers I have heard is bringing words for the blog today. Pastor Duane Brown is a gifted writer, orator and teacher, and while he could easily be preaching to hundreds on a Sunday, he chooses to serve a small community church in Longville, Minnesota. He’s also got a tremendous sense of humor, as you’ll observe.

We always look forward to hearing his messages two times a year, on our vacations “Up North.”

Today’s message is an adaptation of words that the good pastor spoke yesterday morning, just before he served us communion at that little church. Sit down in the pew beside me, my friend, and let’s break bread together.

 

One of the hardest things I had to deal with last year was when I heard that the Hostess Baking Company was going out of business. This was devastating news for someone who loves Hostess Cupcakes, grew up eating sandwiches on Wonder Bread, and whose idea of a gourmet dessert is a Hostess Twinkie.

twinkies

But imagine how ecstatic I was when a few months ago I read that a couple of investors had bought the company, was reorganizing it, and that within a short span, would have the Hostess bakeries’ ovens fired up and delivering goodies all over the good ol’ U.S.

Of all the Hostess products, it was the Twinkies I loved the best. But besides the marvelous sponge cake with the white frosty center, Twinkies were known for something else: the amount of preservatives in them. It has been said that the only two things that could survive a nuclear holocaust are roaches and Hostess Twinkies.

But we’re forgetting something here, and that’s our old friend Wonderbread. Hostess wasn’t the first to make Wonderbread. God Himself has that distinction when He rained down manna from heaven on the Children of Israel. God Himself continued that same line when He stripped Himself of all His royal privileges, was born of a virgin, took on human flesh, and became for us “The Bread of Life.”

Now, since time and eternity, they’ve tried to get rid of Jesus, the Wonder Bread of Life. Caesars have tried to do it; the Jewish establishment has tried to do it; kings and despots down throughout history have tried to rid the world of Him. Even today, detractors all over the world are trying to eradicate Him and those who worship Him.

But like the lowly Twinkie, our Lord Jesus has managed to preserve His church. And one of the ways He has done this is to give us what we are about to celebrate: the Lord’s Supper. This simple loaf of bread, this uncomplicated cup of wine. His body broken and passed around and shared.

But the thing is, none of us is really worthy to receive it. Like the Hostess Baking Company, we’re bankrupt, every last one of us. We’re morally bankrupt, spiritually bankrupt, politically bankrupt . . . we’re bankrupt in every way possible. And just like that bankrupt company couldn’t do anything until a couple of wealthy and wise investors came and took over, we are unable to get out of the debt and devastation we’ve created for ourselves apart from our Savior. The Bread of Life. The True Wonder Bread.

Imagine that: a simple loaf of bread; an uncomplicated cup of wine, preserved and passed down throughout history. His body broken for you and me, His blood shed for you and me. True Wonder Bread.

 

Rev. Duane Brown has been the Minister of Word and Sacrament at the Longville Community Church, Longville, Minnesota, since 1997.  A native of West Virginia, Duane was in the broadcasting field before the Lord called him into the ministry.  He and his wife Jeanette, who is the church’s music director, are the proud parents of two grown daughters and seven grandchildren. After receiving his Masters of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1987, the Browns served churches in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Michigan before moving to the middle of the Minnesota northwoods and the idyllic little village of Longville.  Duane loves writing, and has produced a total of 14 books (all self-published) and tries to write at least two works a year. His hobbies are photography, biking, translating old Puritan books into modern English, and driving his wife batty.

(For information on his books, you may email Pastor Duane at longvillecc@arvig.net and ask for a list of the books and a brief synopsis. Our family is greatly encouraged each Lenten and Advent season by his devotional books.)

Photo credits:
1 – Christian Cable, via Flickr
2 – bigmalakili, via Flickr

A postscript: I came across these Hostess treats at the grocery store. “Greatest Comeback in the History of Ever?” Oh yeah. I know a certain story about a certain comeback king.

by | August 5, 2013 | 4 comments

4 Comments

  1. Mindy

    Great post from both of you! I am blessed to read of the Pastor and his choice to serve where God put him and not where only worldly success may be. I know a couple of Pastor friends who have done the same and I believe God rewards them in unseen ways. I am so grateful for the Bread of Life…and the occasional Hostess treat : )

    Reply
  2. Lea

    Yes, two great entries and absolutely love how his illustration with the Hostess Twinkies. He must truly be gifted and his congregation must know how blessed they are to have him. Happy week!

    Reply
  3. Heather Marsten

    Great sermon – love the wonder bread 😀 – and to imagine the Israelites complained about it.

    Reply
  4. Nancy Ruegg

    Had to smile at the surprise connection between Twinkies and manna! Pastor Duane’s mention of preservatives has me thinking about our spiritual preservative, Jesus: “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8). Who knew Twinkies would offer so many parallels to our Christian experience?! Thank you for sharing from Pastor Duane’s meaningful sermon.

    Reply

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