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Tuesday Tidings May 16, 2023

Dearest Members of Bethlehem,

“Blessed is the one who considers the poor!” Psalm 41:1

Did you know that many new cars come equipped with heated seats?

The seat heater might seem like a great convenience in the dead of

winter, but it sure does raise a lot of questions.

Why was the seat heater invented? Once heated seats became an

option on our cars, how many people truly wanted them? Or, were

they installed automatically, thereby immediately raising the prices of

new cars? And, of course, isn’t the heated seat just something else to

break, wear out, and ultimately go kaput?

The seats in my first car were made from a material called vinyl. You

may have heard of it. I think vinyl might have been better, in the

sense that vinyl seats had the capacity to build character.

In the summer, vinyl seats absorbed every bit of heat from the

blistering sun, quickly transforming the seating surface in your car into

molten lava. Back in the day, as I was applying ice to the back of my

legs, I would never have thought that heated seats would be a good

idea. Paying extra for them… preposterous!

Friends, please, I am warning you, beware the heated seats! Heated

seats are just a gateway. The next thing you know you’ll have heated

windshield wipers, and heated steering wheels!

Oh, wait, never mind… And once you get all those heated things in/on

your car, the simple heating won’t be enough. Trust me, soon, we’ll

be so spoiled we’ll desperately want (not need, mind you) seats that

are cooled, and oh by the way… could you figure out a way for us to

dial in the temperature a bit? I like my steering wheel heated to a

pleasant 72 degrees, anything more means inevitably sweaty palms

(safety concern), anything less and why bother?

Yes, beware of the heated seats! They’ll seem so nice at first, but…

as you drive through the city and see the tents of the homeless

fluttering in the cool breeze, as you drive past the young woman with a

downtrodden face and a soggy cardboard sign that reads, “Homeless,

hungry,” and yep, you guessed it, “cold.” There will be a part of your

heart that’ll wish those cushy heated seats were never even invented.

The warmth from your seat will somehow be transferred to a sharp red

heat in your face as you blush and wonder, “How did I end up sitting

here, and she end up standing there?”

Oh, whatever, who am I kidding? Go ahead and get the heated seats,

pay extra for ‘em if you can, and crank those suckers up… especially

if they have the power to kindle within us a little more empathy and a

stronger connection with our neighbors in need.

Question for reflection: What modern convenience would you find it

difficult to live without, why?

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dan

God of love, it is so very easy to be self-consumed, but it is so much

better to balance our personal concerns with a healthy respect for

those around us. Guide us into meaningful service, lasting generosity,

and true empathy for those we have been called to love. We pray this

all in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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