Ice Cream Vans, Intrigued Children and the Message of Salvation.

Many of you may know that the last few days in the UK have been absolutely glorious, weather wise. The sun has been shining and the UK has been reaching temperatures of 29 degrees celsius in certain parts of the land.

Of course, whenever the sun shines (or doesn’t shine, in more recent times) the occasional sound of the Ice Cream van is heard. I heard it the other day. Very loud, attractive, nostalgic. I remember once when my high school was going under renovation, there was a plan to build a second canteen due to the fact that the school was experiencing overpopulation. To help ease the congestion in the reasonably small canteen, the hired an ice cream van to help keep the children of the school fed.

Of course, you can guess that as soon as the ice cream van came, the canteen was near enough empty; the kids just loved having ice cream more than the greasy sausage, egg and chips that the canteen offered four days out of the five in the school week.

The idea of ice cream vans got me thinking.

In Mark 6, we read this:

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.

More than anything in the passage, it’s what Jesus says at the end that strikes me; you give them something to eat. We mustn’t expect Jesus to do all the hard graft for us. As Christians, we’re here for a reason. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. We’re called to a Great Commission – to make disciples. I think that’s the reason why the disciples were told to give the people something to eat. Not just physical food, though; they were about to encounter the Bread of Life! The physical food was just a mere example of what they were about to experience.

We need to be more like Ice Cream Vans. When the Son shines on us, it should make us sing salvation and seek out children who need to be fed by the ice cream (??!!) of life. OK, I know that sounds silly, but you know what I mean.

When we sing like the Ice Cream Van, there’s no telling how many will be attracted to come and receive. When we sing of Jesus, I can only say, from my experience, that I’ve always been surprised at how many people do actually listen to the tune that’s coming out of my heart.

Isn’t this evangelism? The Great Commission? Jesus tells us to give people something to eat. And the Message of Salvation is nothing less than a feast to be eaten by anyone who hears and is hungry for life everlasting. And to put the cherry on top of the cake, this sort of food is free; it’s been paid for in full.

Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @