Wherein I attempt to spin chocolate into a theological topic…


I was asked by Andy and Jane to write about chocolate. Of course, what that really meant for me is that last night I had to mix some chocolate sauce with coffee reduction and use it on ice cream. I probably gained a couple of pounds by doing that and had insomnia last night due to the coffee… but it was so good.

Wikipedia reports the first documented use of chocolate at 1100 BC, or about 100 years after King David of Israel. Dark chocolate, in particular, has several health benefits for humans. But this really only happens in moderation. And that’s not really what I did with the chocolate last night (and the coffee and the ice cream). And now I’m a bit tired on this fine morning…

This just goes to show, once again, that our actions have consequences.

And the chemical theobromine, found in dark chocolate, is fatal for many animals, including my dog. That sounds like an even bigger consequence. So no chocolate for you, dog.

The fact that I ate this chocolate just after having been sick for a couple of days probably didn’t help much, though.

But this all seems so trivial in comparison to what has been a very full week for news. There have been sad deaths (from the plane crash in Nunavut; and the untimely death from cancer of the Hon. Jack Layton, leader of the Her Majesty’s Official Opposition in Canada’s Parliament); shocking resignations (Steve Jobs of Apple and Rob “CmdrTaco” Malda of Slashdot); an earthquake; tornadoes; and a looming hurricane.

In difficult moments — whether great or small — I always find it comforting to consider the plight of the people of Judah in the 6th century BC. Their country was attacked and taken over by the Babylonian empire. The temple of Jerusalem was destroyed and those who weren’t killed were taken captive to Babylon. All in all, it looked like a very bad day for them. Yet, in the midst of everything, as their faith in God was being tested, this was their prayer, voiced by the author of the book of Lamentations (3.21-26):

Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

We believe that God continues to be with his people, even in the midst of their suffering and sin. Why? Because, as Christians, we know that he himself descended even into the very depths of death itself, bridging the gap between death and life, between despair and hope, and between the cross and resurrection. If we encounter anything today that is challenging in any way, whether big or trivial: Jesus, who is God, is there with us. Great is his faithfulness; his great love and compassion are new every morning.

(How’s that work for theological reflections over a morning coffee?)