Thanks for joining us on our journey to share 50 facts about Spain and add 50 partners to our team. We hope you are enjoying the facts and the spiritual lessons Chris is applying as well. Today’s fact relates to one of our favorite things: food.
Producing approximately 45% of the world’s olive oil, Spain is the largest olive oil producer in the world.
It’s funny how things like this work. Until I was called to be a missionary in Spain, I always assumed most olive oil came from Italy. Italian food is far more popular in the States than Spanish or Greek food. But olive oil is also advertised as a mainly Italian ingredient and people like Mario Batali and Giada de Laurentiis practically drink the stuff because they are Italian.
This happens in life too. We are surprised by true facts because we have accepted the way information has been presented to us as fact, or at least normal. Many times we approach the way we operate our churches and our family roles and the way we do ministry; not on Biblical example but purely on what we are comfortable with or on the basis of “this is what we have always done.”
Learning that Spain supplies most of the world’s olive oil isn’t exactly life changing or important. I mean, other than realizing that my oil and vinegar dressing is probably more Spanish than Italian isn’t really going to cause me to rethink the way I order salads or make pasta dishes.
Learning that there are things in my family life or in the way we operate our churches that are either not effective or, even worse, not Biblical, is an area that can be incredibly life changing. We are supposed to look different from the rest of the world which will sometimes mean that we look crazy or just plain nuts. I think we have become so concerned with looking normal to the rest of the world that we have done just that: become normal. Ordinary. The same as anybody else with the exception that we have somewhere to be on a Sunday.
The Bible describes people in the early church looking and behaving so much like Jesus that they started calling them Christians or “little Christs.” Are we that easy to spot today? Don’t we usually have to tell someone we are a Christian before they have any idea that is the case? Even then we need to specify more directly what that means since that title has been watered down a bit.
Perhaps it is time for us to take a serious look at how we do things in our personal family lives and in our churches. We might be surprised at what facts we just assume are true turn out to be terrible mistakes.
In Spain, cultural Catholicism has become “normal.” Spaniards might say a rosary, pray for the outcome of a soccer game, or sincerely believe that loved ones are in Heaven because of their Catholic background. But they do not know what the Bible says about Heaven and Hell. They are not aware of how deeply God loves them and that He has a plan for them to grow and be like Jesus for their own families, friends and neighbors. Please consider helping us share this life-changing news with the Spanish people. 50 people at $50 a month will help us reach our goal.