Recipe for Discipleship
By Vera Entwistle of Eugene, OR, USA
Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. —Philippians 4:9 NRSV
I was visiting my friends who were teaching school in Peru. I was alone in their home with only a Peruvian housekeeper for company. I remembered that my friends had always enjoyed a British pastry I made for them many times when we lived in Oregon. I wandered into the kitchen to hunt for the ingredients.
When my friends arrived home from school the warmth and aroma of the pastry greeted them. The pastry looked like what I had made dozens of times before. If anything, it looked even better as the pastry had browned beautifully. Quickly we put the kettle on and sat around the table in expectation of a tasty treat.
Sheyne was the first one to take a bite of the pastry, and she called out, “Yuk!” We looked up in astonishment. Gingerly we took small bites and our reactions were the same, “Yuk!”
It soon became clear that what I had found in the pantry and thought was sugar was, in fact, salt! What a disappointment! One wrong ingredient ruined my surprise. Now whenever I make that pastry I am once again in the kitchen in Peru, reliving my mistake. I am much more careful when lining up the ingredients! I learned from my mistake.
When we fall short in our service, God forgives us. When we mistakenly use salt instead of sugar…pride instead of humility…tolerance instead of acceptance…we learn, we try again. We are continually reforming as disciples of Christ, with God’s blessing.
Prayer for Peace
Forgiving God, we praise you for your grace. We thank you for your patience. We will make mistakes again, knowing you will help us learn. We will do a better job of sharing Christ’s peace.
Spirituality Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
Read and reflect on Psalm 42:1–2. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our call is to respond to people and their needs. The call to journey inward can restore us in times of physical or spiritual depletion. Imagine you can feel a vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container). Imagine drawing something from the vessel to share with another person, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty and dry—empty. Listen prayerfully again to the psalm, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” As you feel restored, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey. Remember this exercise as you drink water throughout the day.
Today, God, I will extend grace to others as you have to me.