Keep on eating Greggs sausage rolls

Keep on eating Greggs sausage rolls

Acts 22:23  “As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air…”

So in the UK we have a bakery called Greggs and they have just caused an outcry from the Church because in order to promote their business they produced a Christmas advert. However, the advert replaces Jesus in the crib with a sausage roll (for my international friends, tasting one of these treats is divine, it is a sausage in a pastry roll, sausage roll).

The UK Evangelical Alliance said it was “not too outraged” about the Greggs nativity scene, but that it does raise issues of companies using the Bible story to sell products.

“Every year some company creates a Christmas controversy for commercial gain. It seems to get earlier each year,” says Daniel Webster, spokesperson for the organisation.

He says Jesus is what should be the focus of Christmas celebrations, not advent calendars and marketing to sell sausage rolls.

“That’s the scandal that should be talked about this Christmas, not processed outrage to sell processed food.”

I am very sure that if Greggs had used another faith festival to throw a sausage roll into a sacred scene there would have been an outrage. So well done UKEA for showing how to object and complain without losing your head.

When was the last time you got angry? I mean really angry. When you threw something to the other side of the room or you hit something or you hurled your arms in the air clenching your fists or you swore, you might be thinking I know too many reactionary responses!

What was it all about? Did it help?

Paul had said God had called him to the Gentiles. The crowd were now convinced that the rumour he had taken a Gentile into the temple was true. They were wrong, but they didn’t know that. Shouting, throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust in the air may not be what your cultural response would be. But we understand the response all too well. It may be an indication of what they were wanting to do to Paul, that they were getting ready to stone him by taking off their outer cloaks. Nevertheless what we do know is that this is an angry frenzied reaction to Paul being called to the Gentiles.

Were they that prejudiced? No. Well, yes, they were, but still, no.

It was because they truly believed that their understanding of Scripture shows that God is on the side of the Jew not the Gentile. The Jews were more pure than the Gentile. In fact the Gentile could not be pure.

Their reaction is a defence of God and righteousness. Anything less is condoning Paul. They respond this way because there is no other way. It is the correct thing to do.

How can someone believe themselves to be so right and justified, but be so wrong?

Only Jesus can respond with anger and be right. When he created chaos in the temple by turning tables and whipping the moneychangers many must have thought he had lost it, but he hadn’t and he was right because he is God.

Only God can respond with anger and be right.

When we get angry and shout, scream and do the things on my list, though we think we are right to do so, we rarely are. We lose the argument and people’s thinking moves from the reason for the season which isn’t a sausage roll after all but the belief in a Saviour-child called Jesus to the campaign by the Church to ban its members from eating Greggs sausage rolls from now on or something worse, though I cannot think of anything worse than that.

Let us love Greggs not hate them. All they wanted to do was sell a few more sausage rolls. They were wrong. But let us stay in the right.



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