What is the most unusual sandwich that you have ever tasted?
The following is a menu of 12 real sandwiches. Which one would you order?
1. Luther Burger (Hamburger or cheeseburger served between two glazed donuts)
2. St. Paul Sandwich (Egg foo yung patty, made with mung bean sprouts and minced white onions, served with dill pickle slices, white onion, mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato between two slices of white bread)
3. Baked Bean French Toast Sandwich (French toast bread filled with baked beans with bacon and cheese)
4. Falafel Sandwich (Deep fried balls of chickpeas on pita bread)
5. Grilled Macaroni and Cheese Sandwich (Please use your imagination)
6. Pig’s Head Cuban (Griddle-pressed pig head terrine with gruyere and pickles)
7. Elvis (Peanut butter, banana, bacon on white bread)
8. Po’ Boy (Deep Fried clams served on a baguette)
9. Hot Pressed Gelato Sandwich (Filled with house made jam and served on a French croissant babka roll)
10. Donkey Burger (Chopped donkey meat, served cold, with green peppers and cilantro, on a flaky bun, with side of gravy for dipping)
11. Fluffernutter (Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff usually served on white bread)
12. Swamp Thing (barbecue with fried okra and cole slaw)
So, which one would satisfy your cravings?
There is another sandwich that is not on the menu. It is called the “Markan Sandwich.” This refers to the Gospel of Mark in the Bible. Like our menu, there are 12 “sandwiches” in this Gospel.
The Gospel writer used a literary technique called chiastic structure. This has a beginning story (bread) that is interrupted by another story (meat), and then the original story is completed (bread).
These stories are “consumed” together, which makes for greater depth of meaning and a richer experience.
One of these is in chapter 5. The surrounding story is about Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter who needs healing. The story in between is about an unnamed woman, who has had hemorrhaging for 12 years. She needs healing as well. Jesus refers to her as “daughter.”
Draw your own conclusions. One obvious thing is that this shows that Jesus cared for both those who were “favored” as well as the disenfranchised.
Did you know that you are a sandwich as well? God’s love is both behind you and in front of you. It surrounds you. What story does this tell?
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for 30 years.