Did you know that in China you’re more likely to find centipede on a stick than a corn dog? (Think about what exactly is in a corn dog before deciding which one you would rather eat!) Peter saw this fact in one of his Weird But True books and decided he would like to try it – along with fried scorpion, exotic fruits, and other unusual and delightful foods. You may have heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with a life-threatening illness. A representative met with Peter to discuss his wish. They were thrilled that Peter came up with something entirely unique in the history of Make-A-Wish: to be “an adventurous foodie,” as they put it. At least it wasn’t just another trip to Disneyland. With this wish the Make-A-Wish teams in San Francisco and the Central Valley got to do some searching. And they found insects, sea creatures, enormous eggs. There are pictures below.
On Friday, April 28, I introduced the night with two biblical passages. I can’t help it, I’m a pastor. In Acts 10 the apostle Peter has a vision of a sheet lowered down from heaven filled with all kinds of animals, reptiles, you name it. A voice says, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” For a Jewish person the thought of eating anything non-kosher was not only against religious tradition, but repulsive. Perhaps the way many people think about eating a tarantula, scorpion, or cricket. So Peter tries to take a pass on that offer. But God insists, the point being, “Don’t call anything unclean that I have called clean.” The reference is not only to foods, but to people. Non-Jews are also welcomed into the kingdom of God.
Fittingly, one of the biblical images of the kingdom of God is a feast. So the other passage I referred to is Revelation 19, where it is written, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb.” The Lamb, of course, is Jesus who died and rose again. The wedding refers to the union of Christ and the church. A wedding supper was the biggest celebration around. Blessed are those who are invited indeed.
What will be served at this wedding supper of the Lamb? Crickets? Scorpion? Tarantula? Ostrich egg? Mealworms? Alligator? Those were all on the menu for Peter’s Make-A-Wish event. The sad reason for our gathering was that, apart from a miracle, Peter is going to be the first to find out what is on the menu in the Lamb’s wedding supper. We are in the depths of sorrow over losing our son, but glad to know that he will be with the Lord, who already died and rose from the dead. Peter will die in Christ and be raised in Christ.
Despite the acknowledgement of the sad reality, the event was full of joy. Kids grossed each other out. Adults politely declined offers of insects. Peter eagerly tried it all. Dried tarantula? Crunch. Scorpion? Gulp. Crayfish? Slurp. Cricket pizza? Yum. Ostrich sliders? Sounds good.
The chefs at Bella Luna in Merced did a spectacular job. We had no idea what to expect. They brought out tray after tray of exotic foods.
Oh, I didn’t even mention the fruits: rambutan, jack fruit, durian (famous for being stinky), cherimoya, mamon, dragon fruit.
Dessert included chocolate covered crickets and red velvet cookies with an insect conspicuously poking out from the middle.
Did I try it everything? Of course! So did my other two boys. I’m proud of them.
Peter traveled in style. The limo even included lasers. Throughout the night he smiled. It was a blessing.
By the way, the exotic feast continues. There was a fake-looking but very real ostrich egg left over. We took it home and made scrambled eggs. There was enough for sixteen people to eat from. And it’s amazing what you can find on Amazon. Earthworm jerky, smoked rattlesnake, goldenberries, and other delights arrived in the mail today.
But there was one thing that nobody could find, the thing that started it all: centipede on a stick. So here’s a call to my Chinese friends – do you know of a place (in Chinatown?) that sells centipede on a stick?
Whatever’s on the menu, here’s to the wedding feast of the crucified and risen one!
And how is Peter? That question is difficult to answer. I’ll write more later. But here is a brief multiple choice quiz for you.
B. Happy (usually)
C. In pain
D. Busy seeing friends and family
E. Eating weird foods
F. All of the above
Peter would tell you that when a question says “all of the above” that it’s always the right answer.