A Story About Forgiveness and Syrup.

Easter Sunday is full of traditions, the jubilant organ music, the stately processional, the white paraments, the apse decked out with Easter lilies, the reading of the Easter Story. Other traditions include new spring clothes, Easter Egg hunts, and baskets of candy and goodies.

David Brugge takes a moment to reminisce about Easters of days past,
of mishaps, and of forgiveness.


There is nothing quite like the delicious taste of fresh hot pancakes and sweet, tasty pancake syrup. People said that what I served them that morning, was nothing like it.

Personally, my Easter is somehow never complete without breakfast served by the Trinity youth. I have no idea how far back the tradition of the youth group serving breakfast Easter morning goes. I know that when my wife and I were youth sponsors, sometime late in the last century, it had already been a very long established practice. The kids and their bleary eyed sponsors would arrive at the church near sunrise to began cooking pancakes and sausage and bacon. For nearly half a century, Mr.Greeley Parham, who ran the bakery for Seessels’, would also arrive to bake up batches of his famous hand rolled biscuits. Kids with aprons brought food from the kitchen and served beverages. Each table would have a basket in which diners were asked to make a donation. This money was then used by the youth to help fund their summer activities.

I vividly remember the year that we were running low on pancake syrup. Looking through the cupboards, I found a jar of blackstrap sorghum molasses. I really wasn’t familiar with blackstrap, but knowing that molasses is a sweet syrup, I thought I could pour a little bit into the pancake syrup in order to extend it. Now I know different. Sorghum is not really a molasses. And blackstrap, which often has sulfur added as a preservative, is extremely bitter and is definitely an acquired taste. None of the people we were serving pancakes too had acquired that taste, and didn’t want to either. It was only a tiny dollop added to the mix, but it was enough to run the entire batch for everyone. Fortunately most everyone had eaten and we were able to scrounge up just enough regular syrup to accommodate the few that remained.

Afterwards, there was the rush to wash the dishes, clean up then run up stairs to the service. As I slipped into the pew, my wife confided that I smelt strongly of bacon grease. She and my kids jokingly slid away from me on the pew. But my work was done, time to relax and enjoy the service. My kids covered their ears as Pete Wolford shook the timbers with his trumpet. We heard the familiar story of Christ’s victory over death and approached the alter to partake of the very blood that He spilled out for our salvation. God forgave me, and in time, the good people of Trinity forgave me also. They let me continue to help serve breakfast for quite a few more years after that.

This is what will be going through my mind as I bite into my pancakes and enjoy the sweet tasty syrup. I hope to see you there, and you will join with me in saying…

He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah.

David Brugge is a longtime member of Trinity where he serves as Elder. He is an author, teacher, and frequent contributor to Trinitymemphis.org. The opinions expressed here are solely his own and as such are not the official opinions of Trinity Lutheran Church, its staff, or the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

1 Comment
  1. 🙂