Grace Andrews of Independence, MO, USA
Come learn of the meek and lowly, come sit at the master\’s feet;
No place in the world so holy, No place in the world so sweet.
His lessons are plain and simple, A balm to the wounded breast;
He makes our burden lighter, And gives His children rest… -Fanny Crosby, \xc2\xa91882 Bigelow & Main
It was necessary for me to learn to cook for my family when I was a child. We didn’t always have the all the ingredients, so I didn’t always follow the recipes exactly. More often than not, substitutions or improvisations were made. In time, I learned through trial and error which seasonings would enhance the flavor of fish, chicken, soup, etc.
Later, my children poked good-natured fun at my methods of cooking. But their desire to duplicate my efforts proved difficult. How does one explain “salt to taste,” “a little vanilla,” “some flour till it looks or feels right in bread dough”? I was sympathetic to their efforts as they tried to measure exact ingredients I threw together. Still, they became excellent cooks for their families.
Our children watched me closely-and not just in the kitchen. They became acquainted with my every movement, every glance, good and bad habits. They noticed my outlook on life, the times when I followed the letter of the law, and times when I looked outside the box for a fresher look. They observed my actions more than my words. That’s an enormous responsibility for a parent.
It’s also a huge responsibility and opportunity for each of us as we reach out to others. Who is watching? What are they learning? Is our example really Christ-like? Are we teaching sour looks, crotchety words? Or, do positive attitudes of love and care shine through? Are we following past “recipes” to the letter, unwilling to add new ingredients, new thoughts, to improve the flavor of our witness for all?
Jesus gave a new commandment to love one another, adding a totally new perspective. He brought the Holy Spirit to light to expand the understanding of the good news. Jesus’ recipe for life enhanced the same old traditional beliefs, allowing a deeper flavor for life with increased visual delights in today’s world. He went outside the box drawing people in, reaching for the outcasts, teaching unconditional, all-inclusive love.
We are so privileged. We have received His recipe for life as he stretches the imagination and encourages us to not limit the truth of God. May we not be fearful to add inspired ingredients to heighten our worship for the benefit of those who come to sit and listen to lessons plain and simple at the Master’s feet.
“Over the years we melt into what we seek” (Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year).
We are in the threshold between seasons in the Christian calendar. You may have been noticing the physical transitions of the seasons wherever you live as some enter the depths of winter and others the warmth of summer. The seasons are a visible reminder that even among the most predictable rhythms and routines of our lives, change is always happening. The events of our moments, days, weeks, years form us and transform us over time. We enter each season different from when we arrived here last. This is the nature of this cyclical journey of faith. In these final days of the Christian calendar and the season of Ordinary time, there is opportunity to take a sacred pause, to notice how you arrive in this threshold. What have you been formed by this year? What has been deepening you as you’ve lived through another cycle of this life of faith?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.