A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dave's Deep Thoughts - Is There a Pie Heaven?

Here's Pastor Dave McDowell's weekly devotional that he sends out to members of his church. Dave is my brother and serves as the Music Minister at Stewartstown UMC in PA. 
If a picture is worth a thousand words,
than a piece of pie must be worth a novel.
My mom was a great cook and baker.
Pies, pastries, and cakes
were shot out of my mom's kitchen at rapid fire pace
like fireworks at a 4th of July celebration.
Her cookies were were worth gold.
Her cinnamon buns were the envy of the town.
Her rolls were the hit of every holiday gathering.
During her last years,
dementia robbed my mom of her ability to function in the kitchen,
and the baking wizardry ceased.
Now that she is not with us anymore,
her baking prowess has taken its place in local culinary lore.
Over time, the rich remembrance of her tantalizing treats had begun to fade.
That was until yesterday.
A cousin of mine showed up at my workplace
with a pie in hand.
"I made you a
chocolate peanut butter pie.
I used your mom's recipe" she said.
I gasped.
My heart skipped a beat.
My stomach instinctively growled like a Pavlovian dog.
It had been years since mom had been able to make a pie,
let alone the chocolate peanut butter pie, one of the crown jewels of the family pie royalty
I gazed upon this pastry delight that my cousin had made.
It looked exactly like my mom's.
Fresh fruit pies had always made their grand appearances in their seasons.
Meat pies were mid-winter tummy warmers.
Whoopie pies were for crazy fun moments.
But the chocolate peanut butter pie
was a pie for all seasons.
Easter celebrations, family dinners,
birthdays, special occasions, ordinary days.
The chocolate peanut butter pie never went out of season.
With all due apologies to the apple pie,
mom's chocolate peanut butter pie
stood as a shining symbol of all that was good about
life, the American way, and the pursuit of happiness.
The homemade crust was as flaky as a mid-winter flurry.
Rich chocolate pudding filled the basin of the crust.
Whipped cream festooned the rim of the pie.
A delicate peanut butter crumb mixture dazzled the top.
As I took my first taste of my cousin's pie,
memories flooded back into my mind......
memories of family gatherings,
memories of a special occasions,
memories of coming home from school to a mother's love.
Jack Handy was once quoted as saying,
"When I go to heaven, I want to go to pie heaven.
I don't know if there is a pie heaven, but if there is......
mmm mmm boy!"
Foods have a way of connecting us to
the things that we love the most.....
family, life, faith.
Popcorn says get ready to watch a movie.
Cake says to sing Happy birthday!
Grilled hot dogs says to get ready for the fireworks.
But grape juice & bread says "here is your means of grace."
Here is a love that will not let go of you.
Here is the way that we can be together.
I am so grateful to my cousin for reminding
me of my mother's love for me.
I am even more grateful for a loving God
who reminds me that He loves me enough to die for me.
I don't know that there is a pie heaven,
but I know that there is a heaven.
And I know that there is a place at the banquet table reserved for
anyone who admits their need for the blood of Christ.
As we approach Holy Week and the celebration of the empty tomb,
take time to savor ......
the bitterness of betrayal,
the stinging agony of abandonment,
the pain of undeserved punishment,
and finally
the ecstasy of the empty tomb.
That empty tomb is the recipe of love.
That is, a love for all seasons,
just like mom's peanut butter pie.
Taste and see that the Lord is good!
Psalm 34:8
Mom's Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Recipe
(surprisingly easy)
Bake crust at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until golden
Make peanut butter crumb mixture. TakeTbp of creamy peanut butter. Mix in confectioner
sugar with fork. Stir until you get a texture suitable for sprinkling .
Take 1 or 2 INSTANT chocolate pudding mixes (depending on size of pies)
(mix with ¼ cup less than directions indicated)
Fill pie with pudding, add whipped cream (do not use non fat)
Add peanut butter crumb mixture sprinkling on top

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