This week at John McMillan Presbyterian Church; July 12, 2020

Several years ago, I traveled to Malaysia with a group of people from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Our base in Malaysia was in Kota Kinabalu, Sarawak, on the Island of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu has one of the world’s largest wet markets. Kind of an outdoor farmers market on steroids. In the middle of this market, there was a huge pile of some kind of fruit. It looked like a giant pear with spines all over it. I was told it was durian. Durian is the “King of Fruits” according to the folks in Malaysia. Well … I had to try it, right?  Our trip leader, who had lived in Singapore for several years, warned me that durian was an “acquired taste”. He bought one for me and the seller cut it open. It had the most awful smell. I can’t describe the smell, but some liken it to wet gym socks left in a locker for several days. But he bought it for me, so I took a bite. To me, it tasted like it smelled. I did what I could to “acquire” a taste for it, but in the end, I couldn’t. I could have reacted two different ways. I could have said, “What’s wrong with you? Why didn’t you warn me how awful it was?” Or I could have said, “What’s wrong with you? How could you eat this thing?” Both of those reactions would have suggested there was something wrong with him for buying me this gift or for thinking it was tasty. But that is not what Miss Manners would say, I think. The kind and loving thing to do was to eat it, because he bought it for me. I could then say that it was not to my taste. Unfortunately, it is much easier to be kind when we are talking about fruit than other things we disagree on in our world. But does that mean we should not be equally kind? Even when we disagree? Pastor Jeff will preach about that Sunday morning on John McMillan Presbyterian Church’s Facebook Live at 9:30 (recorded for later viewing on Facebook or YouTube). Log on and join us.

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