Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Reason for Riesens...What's in a Name

I was looking at a package of Riesens the other day and wondered where these lucious candies got their name. Being the ever resourceful researcher, I googled the name and found...nothing. Distributed by a company called "Storck", originally from Germany, Riesen candy has always been called Riesen, so I'm guessing it was the name of the guy who first stirred the vat full ingredients, stuck his finger in, licked it and said "Es schmeckt gut". Storck also has other wonderful names under it's candy umbrella...Toffifee...Milkfuls...and...Werther's Original. Yum.That started me thinking and dusting off my metaphors. And a metaphor, as I learned in English class, is "for cows to graze in...". Just as the Storck candy company has lots of different high-calorie delights, the Church takes in a lot of different denominations, doctrines, traditions and ideas. The tag of 'Southern Gospel' envelopes many different styles, sounds and presentations. And sometimes when someone uses the description of "Christian", that can also mean a lot of different things to different people.Christian, or "Christ-One", should mean to exemplify Jesus in word and deed. However, when the world watches Christians exhibit totally un-Christ-like behaviour, their perception of what is Christian can get completely skewed. We like to think that as Christians we have liberty in Jesus and we are free from the bondage of the law. However, the part about not doing things that would 'make your brother stumble' we conveniently put aside.I work for a Christian social services agency and as such, I represent the agency and Christ when I am in the community. I am especially aware of that when I wear the agency logo. The thing is, I need to always be aware that I am a witness to my faith regardless of where I am, what I'm wearing, and what I'm doing. I pray that I remember that the next time I loudly express my anger at being cut off by another driver and my window is open. That driver may be my next-door neighbour that I want to invite to a service; the stranger to my church that slips into my pew at the last moment, or the generous patron that drops into the agency to donate money or goods to the homeless. The words, "Get out of my way" should not be immediately followed by, "and do you have a church home?"Whatever denomination or creed we follow, as one of the "Christ-Ones", the "Riesen" for how we live our lives everyday really is all in a Name.

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