Summary: I have been thinking just a little about pumpkin rolls as I have enjoyed mine at home and remarked at the similarity between the Gospel of Jesus and pumpkin rolls. And so I present to you today, the Gospel According to Pumpkin Rolls.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PUMPKIN ROLLS
This time of year when Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us, many traditions seem to be kept by different families. Some families have a tradition of saying what they are thankful for around the dinner table. Other families do a shared act of service on one of these holidays. Some families read the Christmas story together on Christmas Eve. Churches have traditions to that come out at this time of year. At our church, we always seem to kick-off the Holidays with Elaine’s Concert and the Hanging of the Greens Service.
I have to say that it is another tradition that I think we should keep up in future years. I am unsure of how long we have done it, but the making of pumpkin rolls (or ‘punkin’ rolls for some of you) is a tradition that I absolutely love. The pumpkin rolls certainly are scrumptious, but also it gathers us together and is a great time of fellowship. Many of us here helped one or more days in making the 400 odd pumpkins rolls or had a relative or spouse who was here. I have been thinking just a little about pumpkin rolls as I have enjoyed mine at home and remarked at the similarity between the Gospel of Jesus and pumpkin rolls. And so I present to you today, the Gospel According to Pumpkin Rolls.
You may have read or seen other examples like this. I believe there is a "Gospel According to Peanuts" in which the author uses the Peanuts characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy to explain the Gospel Message. I have also seen the Gospel According to Popeye and the Gospel According to Disney. The author attempts to use these examples to show the truths of the Message about Jesus Christ. Today, we will look at the Gospel as it relates to Pumpkin Rolls.
I. THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS
As it is with any good recipe, you have to use the right ingredients. These ingredients are gathered far and wide at the best prices to create the lovely pumpkin rolls we have at home today. What are the ingredients for pumpkin rolls? I realize that most of you are just now recovered from making these little delights, but can you recall the ingredients? Pumpkin rolls (at least the ones we make) require: flour, sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, baking soda, and eggs. All of these are combined to make the delectable mix that is baked into the roll. I will not even mention the cream cheese filling... I will not mention it because it probably is sinful to talk about something so delicious. You need all of these ingredients for the roll to come out correctly. What happens if an ingredient is left out? What happens if there is no pumpkin? What happens if there is no baking soda? Your pumpkin roll is a flop. It does not come out. It was a wasted effort.
The Gospel is like these pumpkin rolls. Did you know that there are "ingredients" in the Gospel Message that must be present for it to be correct? I don’t have to tell you that there are many groups out there that claim to have a Christian message, but certainly do not. What is needed in the message of the Gospel to make it correct? I want to use John 3:16 as our "recipe card" for the message of the Gospel. What does John 3:16 say about the gospel message and what does it tell us?
READ JOHN 3:16
* "For God": Whose idea was this? We know from these first few Words where this whole idea came from. God is the one who originated the plan to save human beings. It was God who decided to create us and save us after we turned away from Him. God our Heavenly Father is the One that desires a relationship with us and so set the plan for Jesus into motion.
* "so loved the world": Why did God even care about us? What was God’s motivation? John 3:16 tells us so clearly that it was because of His love for us that God planned what He planned and did what He did. The Bible tells us that God loved us while we were His enemies (Romans 5:8). The Bible tells us that it is His desire that all people choose Him (Titus 3:4). God loves each person more than we could ever imagine.
* "that he gave his one and only Son": What did God do exactly? Who was this Son? We cannot talk about the Gospel Message and not talk about Jesus Christ. He is the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:6). All that God planned rests on the shoulders of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus Christ who lived a sinless life (Hebrews 5:9) and offered Himself as a sacrifice for all on the cross. This was part of God’s plan (Acts 2:23-24). Jesus rose from the dead and now offers life to everyone who believes. God allowed His Son to die on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin and for mine.