Over the past couple of weeks, word has come through national media that something that has been part of our nation's commerce since before the Civil War is on the brink of extinction.

You and I are part of this reason this extinction may come to fruition, and, honestly, most of us might never notice - with the exception of the days just before Valentine's Day.

Yes, the New England Confectionery Company, who has been cranking out their Necco Wafers and other assorted candies since 1847, is on the verge of closing if - according to multiple media reporst - a buyer for the firm does not materialize by early May 2108. Who cares, right?

After all, if their candies were doing well in the marketplace, wouldn't it be the case that the company, far from closing, would be expanding their business lines?

By the way, what in the world does any of this have to do with the life of the faithful or the life of the church

Simple - It involves the implications of taking things for granted to the point of ignoring them until it's too late.

We're coming off Easter Sunday - basking in the glow of the resurrection, reveling in the reality that God's love is more powerful than the forces of sin and death that tend to take us away from the joy of living as God's faithful people.

We're coming off the Lenten season - a time set aside for prayerful introspection and reflection as we seek to realize once again our desperate need for divine grace and forgiveness that can be found only in and through Christ our Lord.

We're part of a movement of which the very name - Methodist - points to our understanding of faithfulness including systematically availing ourselves of the means of grace (public and private worship, prayer, study, fasting, tithing, and service, just to name a few) so, indeed, we do not become complacent in our faith or take for granted God's mercy and love.

There's a candy company in Revere, Massachusetts, that is getting a lot of attention these days from people who never gave their products a second thought until word came out those products may not be long for the world - and now people are rushing to do whatever they can to hold on to this company's products.

May it never be said of us that we ignored God's grace, peace, mercy, and love for far too long until we wake up one day realizing we have no relationship with God whatsoever not because of anything God has done, but in fact dierctly caused by what we have not done.

Grace and Peace, Lamar