As delivered at Radio Bristol an hour ago:
What do I have that Moses, Elijah and Jesus never had?
There was a bishop, many miles from here and some years ago, whose wife regularly catered large gatherings in their house.
It was noted, over time, that several people were taken ill following such events.
Investigation revealed a tendency for the woman to cook meat dishes early in the morning, leave them in the kitchen all day to cool where her cats showed occasional interest in them, and then re-heat them for dinner. Dodgy lasagne - dire consequences.
She was taken on one side in that gentle way that the Church of England does so well and invited to do a course. It was too late to improve the acceptance rate for her dinner party invitations but the casualty-count fell dramatically.
Moses fed people in the wilderness. Elijah produced bread from nothing to feed a hungry widow. When feeding miracles began to be associated with Jesus, the crowds wondered if he was one of the great prophets returned. Who else could feed 5,000 with just a little bread and fish, the people asked.
He offered life-giving physical and spiritual food.
Well the identity of Jesus is a question for all of us, but to return to the opening question. It occurred to me, a few years back, that as I entertained lots of people in my vicarage, I ought to be certain I had no bad habits that might jeopardise health and safety.
So, what do I have that Moses, Elijah and Jesus never had?
A Food Hygiene Certificate. The course is cheap, especially if you get together with friends to do it and it may save a life.