"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Thursday, March 8 2018

With the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, just concluded, and the XII Paralympic Winter Games poised to begin, people around the world, through the wonders of technology, watch superior athletes take part in world class competitions.  Some athletes have been(or will be) medal winners and happily receive the accolades they deserve.  Others mark their personal best and still others leave disappointed in their ‘performance’.

To the church in Corinth St. Paul wrote “Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.”   1Corinthians 9:24-15

What game are we playing? Is it video gaming, bridge, a board game?  Is it soccer, hockey, Ultimate? What race have we signed up for? A gentle stroll, a 5K or a marathon? The ‘sport’ is the Christian journey, living the new life in Christ. It requires our commitment to strive for excellence. It has costs, rules, successes and failures and other team members to manage and to encourage.  This season is a key time to train, as we strive to continue to “observe a holy Lent by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting and almsgiving and by reading and meditating on the word of God.”

The ‘good news’ is that we have the best coach ever!

Prayer: Holy God, source of joy and strength:  Help me to persevere, not only in my Lenten disciplines but in the Christian race I run each day, with you, my coach, my inspiration and my guide.  Amen.

Recipe: Great Muscles (No, Mussels!)  An inexpensive seafood choice, often under $5.  a bag (which will feed 2  generously or 4, with some sides.) A crusty baguette is a good accompaniment.

1 bag of fresh mussels, washed and ‘beards’ trimmed if necessary
½ onion, chopped;
2 cloves of garlic, chopped;
½ cup of white wine,
water

Options:  Add diced tomato, celery, fennel; herbs such as dill, parsley and tarragon; spices such as curry, saffron, or(at the end of cooking) sumac; also just before serving, a little cream…

In a large pot, cook onion and garlic in a little oil or butter until translucent; add options if desired. Add mussels, wine and about 1 cup water.  Simmer, covered, over medium heat, stirring gently, once, until shells open (discard any that do not).  Serve in a bowl, with a little of the cooking stock. Remember to put an empty bowl on the table for the ‘bones’.