"Not All That Is White is Milk"
Tried eating breakfast cereal today and used white glue as a milk replacement. Finally found a meal that will stick to my ribs.... (Just kidding). Seriously though, have you ever thought of eating white glue on your cereal? Glad to see you shaking your head back and forth. Me neither.
It is a known fact that cereal companies and their ad agencies use white glue in their photos. Notice the photo below and how the cereal pieces are perfectly placed on the spoon. The pieces float on the white viscous substance. It looks attractive and inviting. White glue is used as a milk substitute to allow the pieces to remain level and uniform to offer the best image for the cereal box. Wait, I am getting some hunger pangs and must go get something to eat.
On a whim the other day, I decided to try to simulate the cereal box photo with my own attempt at ad enhancement. I used the same brand cereal, a spoon, and 2% milk. Needless to say, I searched the box and found no cereal pieces that were perfect or even close to the image on the cereal box. Here is my attempt. The milk quickly absorbed into the pieces and the perfect placement fell to the wayside in 3.2.1....
All this to say that many things in our lives aren't as they seem. The flash and dash of TV ads, celebrities and their bold claims, and something as mundane as cereal isn't so close to our reality as we would like it to be. Deception would not be the first thing anyone would admit to using as their platform to promote a product, yet it is used with routine precision. Its all about the presentation. (The psychology of advertising is a thing)
Apparently, the makers of temple buildings during Jesus time were adept at presenting things with a 'wow' factor too. Read the account from Mark 13 and see if you can spot the glitzy things. (Hint: I bolded and underlined it.)
"As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What
massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” “Do you see all these great buildings?”
replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown
down.” As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James,
John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what
will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” Jesus said to them: “Watch out
that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will
deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such
things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and
kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.
These are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew 13:1-8, NIV)
Solomon's temple was magnificent to be sure. He spared no expense in its construction. The building was designed and built to honor God. People flocked to it and marveled in it. Yet, Jesus left no doubt of the temple's ultimate demise. For all its beauty and structural integrity, the temple would be obliterated. The disciples were smitten by the beauty of the building and blinded to God's ongoing story. Could be they were looking at cereal floating on white glue. Jesus' warning must have hit the disciples like a brick to the side of their heads. Later, Jesus unfolded all things that would need to occur in God's narrative.
No matter where we look, we'll witness things that look good on the surface but don't always produce the same deep impact in our spiritual enrichment. We gravitate toward 'glitzy' things while missing the simplicity of God's love and plan for our lives. We believe it is how something looks rather than what it can do for us.
We want something that works well over and above something that looks pretty. We will stick to using milk on our cereal rather than white glue. Our spiritual journey will rely more on the meat and potatoes of the Bible and God's instruction rather than the sugary soft drinks of bubbly imagery found in current culture.
"A Musing Pastor"
PS: Not all that is white is milk .