by Karon Williamson
The Bishop was coming for a visit and I decided to serve tea. He is English, after all and I wanted to make a good impression, so I dusted off my best china teapot and scrounged around in the pantry until I found a box of Earl Grey hiding behind the coffee.
“How many tea bags makes a pot of tea?” I asked myself. “How hard can this be?” Evidently harder than I thought because a quick google search produced lots of opinions on how many tea bags and how long to let it steep for the perfect pot of tea. Overwhelmed, I did what I always do in the kitchen, I winged it. I threw a few bags in the water just as the doorbell rang.
As the Bishop waited, I placed the teapot on a silver tray along with wedding china teacups, carefully folded and pressed linen napkins, and perfectly polished spoons. It was a beautiful sight, my tea time presentation of silver, china and linen. I wish you could have seen it.
“Downton Abbey has nothing on me,” I whispered smugly to myself in the best English accent I could muster. I served the tea and sat down to chat. With pinky lifted and all the manners my mother taught me, I smiled, sipped my tea and…gagged right there in front of the Bishop. The tea was just terrible. It was lukewarm at best, and so weak that even a search party with trained hounds couldn’t track down a hint of flavor if they tried.
In all my efforts to make a good impression, I got too caught up in the ritual of teatime and ended up serving the Bishop of the ENTIRE diocese of New England stale brown water in a china cup. The Bishop was gracious as he always is, but the next time he came to visit he asked for coffee.
Better. We all want to do better and if you’re like me, our failures can be far worse than serving bad tea. What if we figured out that striving to do better is not as important as trusting and following the One who is better?
The ancient world needed better than the repetitive and often empty sacrificial rituals to approach God and today, we still need better because we know deep down that our polished-up images and best efforts to impress can never be good enough. But dear friend, Jesus is. The book of Hebrews teaches us that Jesus is better. He is better than Moses. He is better than the angels. He is the better High Priest, the better Sacrifice, the better Tabernacle, and praise God, Jesus is our better Hope, Covenant, and Promise!
Ladies join us as bible teacher Jen Willkin leads us to consider how “Jesus is Better” in her series of videos on the book of Hebrews. We will meet by zoom every Tuesday night February 16 – April 27 from 7:15-8:30 pm.