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The Dessert

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The Dessert

An Introduction To Brother Mustard


            When they measured his faith, it was smaller than that of any other novice ever to enter the monastery of St. Barnabas, so they called him Brother Mustard Seed. But when they saw how much he loved to eat, they shortened his name to Brother Mustard.

            It is not that he ate a lot – he was no glutton. He simply ate with zest, joy and thanksgiving.

            As the years went by, Brother Mustard’s faith grew into a bush-sized faith, large enough for the birds of the air to make their nests in. This was a blessing for the entire community.

            Brother Mustard would tell parables and stories to his fellow monks, using new images to convey ancient gospel truths. Pilgrims came from far and wide to listen to him speak.

            One evening after supper, Brother Mustard taught the assembly, saying:

            On a hot summer night, when the supper was ended, the Apostle whom Jesus loved said to Jesus, “Master, may we go out for ice cream? Behold, we each ate a good dinner. Even Matthew, who is a picky eater, has eaten his vegetables and his plate is clean.”

            “I tell you the truth, we shall get some ice cream this very night, because your plates are clean,” Jesus replied, “but not all of your plates are clean.” (For He knew Judas had hidden some broccoli in his napkin).

            So He took the Twelve out for ice cream, for the weather was warm and the Apostles had pretty much behaved themselves all day long.

            “How do I know they won’t run out of my favorite flavor?” asked Thomas as they walked.

            “I say to you, do not be anxious about what flavor of ice cream you shall eat,” Jesus answered, “Look at the birds of the air. They do not sew, neither do they reap nor churn cream and sugar and berries together, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than many birds?”

            And Thomas was content, for now.

            “We should give the ice cream money to the poor,” said Judas. Now, he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.

            “The poor you will always have with you,” replied Jesus, “But you will not always have Me.”

            “Shouldn’t we be fasting or something?” asked Andrew.

            “While the bridegroom is with them, the attendants of the bridegroom do not fast, do they?” explained Jesus patiently. “So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. I tell you, the time is coming when you will not eat ice cream, but tonight, you shall.”

            When they arrived at Isaac’s Ice Cream Shoppe, Jesus turned to Simon, called Peter.

            “Try the Neapolitan, Peter. It is quite good, and has three flavors together.”

            “Surely not, Lord! For I have never eaten unclean ice cream,” Peter replied [for the temple leaders had forbidden the mixing of ice cream flavors, nor did they permit the chocolate and the strawberry to touch or intermingle.].

            “Do not consider unclean what God has made clean,” Jesus answered with a grin. This happened three times, then Peter ordered two scoops of Neapolitan, which he enjoyed a great deal.

            After paying for the dessert, Jesus saw a man with an ice cream headache, for he had eaten his ice cream too fast.

            “Was it because of his own sins or the sins of his parents that this man got an ice cream headache?” asked James.

            “Neither. It was so that the works of God might be displayed in him,” said Jesus. Then He reached out His hand and touched the man. Instantly, the ice cream headache left him, and the crowd was amazed.

            Some children came around, asking Jesus for ice cream, and the disciples rebuked them.

            But Jesus called for the children and bought ice cream for them all, saying:

            “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child receiving an ice cream cone shall not receive it at all.

            And He taught them with this parable.

            “The kingdom of God is like a child seeking an ice cream cone. Upon hearing the music from the ice cream man’s truck, he went and asked of his father for some money (for he had none of his own).

            “His father did give the money, and also some for his little sister. The father also went with the child to stand by the side of the road, and did wave his arms at the driver so as to make him stop.

            “For what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a cone, will give him a stone? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

            “I tell you the truth, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents and receives the ice cream of grace than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”


            And then Brother Mustard brought out a box of ice cream sandwiches, which he shared with everyone.

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Word Count: 948


Jun 24th 2007, by DanWard

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I'm Dan Ward, a newbie to the emerging conversation but a curious follower of Christ. I have a chronic case of Writer's Disease, which causes me to put words together on paper in the form of stories, articles and books. You can find a collection of my short spiritual-ish stories at Silly Hat Press (

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