From August 22, 2014
by Pastor Cliff
Laszlo Kovacs wrote about an experience he had in seminary. Kovacs attended the great Reformed Theological Seminary in Debrecen, which has trained many young students since it was founded in 1536.
On Sundays the seminary did not serve hot meals in the dormitory at all. Sunday breakfast was served by the lower classes, and upon leaving the dining room each student received two sandwiches – one for lunch and one for dinner – and some fruit. Each portion was modest and the students usually finished them by mid-afternoon. By late afternoon, they were hungry again.
On one Sunday in the fall of 1956, Kovacs had finished his sandwiches and was getting mighty hungry, and by late afternoon he started thinking of ways to satisfy his increasing appetite. There was no sense in staying in the room, so he decided to take a walk. It so happened that just a stone’s throw away from the dormitory, right along the Great Reformed Church, there was a bakery, and by sheer instinct he made his way toward the store. Sure enough, there on the shelves, just on the other side of the glass window, there were those magnificent, delicious loaves, all neatly lined up for the customers. It would have been ever so nice to have a generous slice of that bread and take it back to his room. Of course the store was closed on Sundays. Besides, even if it had been open, Kovacs had no way of purchasing any of it – there was not a single penny in his pocket. Hungry, frustrated, angry, he returned to his dormitory room and cried himself to sleep. A few weeks later, in the wake of the Hungarian Revolution, he left Debrecen and Hungary.
The following year he entered the United States and became a citizen in 1965. A few years later, in 1970, he was invited to give a lecture at the University of Debrecen, and as he walked through the center of the city he first made his way directly to that familiar bakery again. He entered the store without hesitating and purchased a wonderful slice of warm bread, carried it out to the street, sat down on a nearby bench next to his suitcase and had a feast. Later that day he went to the Great Reformed Church and – with tearful eyes – thanked God for all his blessings, for the beauty and gift of life, and for the promises of the future.
This Friday let’s not forget the words of the psalmist who says: Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods (Psalm 95:1-3).
See you at church on Sunday!
Interim Pastor, FBCR