I have to admit whenever I see advertising such as “Toys-R-Us” or “Windows-R-Us” I cringe a little at the way the language is being misused to promote specific products.

   By using the product in a general sense the reader then tends to relate everything about that product to the “Us,” the person who owns the business.  And so, I must admit, it is also with me and “Mandarins” and my mandarin prayer.

   When I look at a mandarin it offers me a glossy brilliant outer skin.  Its body is curved, often with some flat patches showing how the rigors of life have played a part in its general appearance since it first left the tree.  This is the view the outer world sees, but what do we find when we explore the inner world beyond the surface skin?

   The fruit is further protected by little web-like strands that need to be peeled away, because their flavour taints the sweetness of what lies beyond.

   Concentrate on the strands as you slowly remove them as if they are the ties that bind you and protect your innermost self from being exposed for who you really are.  Let these strands represent your thoughts and actions.  They tend to stick and have to be removed carefully to ensure the whole strand comes away.  There are many strands but to get to your inner self you must remove them all.

   The time comes when the complete fruit is laid bare.  The segments of your being are still clinging together.  Can you be brave enough to expose your soul by opening the chambers of your innermost self?

   Your thumbs slowly split the fruit in half (This is my body broken for you).  You take each segment one at a time.  There are still some ties clinging to the sides after each segment is released.  They also need to be removed. You thank The Father for the fruit and for giving you the opportunity to use this mandarin as a way of recalling the events of the Last Supper and your life.

   You take the first segment and place it in your mouth as you would a communion wafer.  (This is my body). You allow the sweet juice to tantalise your taste buds (This is my blood poured out for you).  You swallow.  You enjoy.  You celebrate.

   But wait!  As you are devouring the fruit you realise there are pips which are not to be swallowed.  These you remove one at a time.  Here is your new life.  Here are the ways to bring about change to yourself and to your world.  I need to think about what I need to do to improve the fruit that I am.  (Peter, if you really love me then feed my lambs, feed my sheep).

   I just love it when mandarins are in season.

  I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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