Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Soul Food

John 21:9-13English Standard Version (ESV)

9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.
"Come and have breakfast." With these words, our Lord beckoned his friends from their long night's labors to eat with him on the beach. We may not use those exact words, but every Sunday, the Fellowship hall fills from within and without as the good smells of coffee and casseroles leak out into the morning and waft down the hallway. The early church goers meet and greet on their way out of the sanctuary, joining a serving line that is always shaped like a Matroshka doll: the littlest ones ready for seconds before the adults have filled their plates.

"Feed my sheep", He told Peter, and in the most down to earth way, we certainly do. This Sunday it's our turn to cook and serve, which means I get to work with some of my favorite cooks....

Ann: "I have 40 plus little egg/sausage muffin things".
Lee:"I have stuff for two 9x13 done need them both?"
Ann:"I would. "
Lee:" Ok. Will do!"
Me:"I bought pie pans to make either 2 or 4 quiches...?"
Ann: "Oh with the quiche I bet we don't need Lees extra! "
Lee:"I can make it- we can always eat it for lunch:)"......
As it turns out, our church body licks the pans clean, consuming the 40 "little egg/sausage muffin things", the two 9x13 pans of egg casseroles, and two pans of quiche (real men do eat quiche, I guess!) as well as three pounds of lovely red Holiday Grapes, and something more than the Biblical two loaves of home baked poppy seed, apple, zucchini, and applesauce bread. We aren't the five thousand..or even the four....but we are a flock.
"Feed my sheep."
If it's good enough for our Lord, I guess it's worthy work for us. Load the bags and coolers in the back of the car to deliver meals. Bring a salad, a potato, a dessert, to feed a bereaved family: the original meaning of "comfort" food. Fill a roaster with pancakes and a Crockpot with sausage to "let the little children come to me and do not hinder them!", and then wipe the tables of syrup and smudges of peanut butter with the knowledge that similar grubby hands hugged the neck of the Son of God.

1 Corinthians 12:27-28

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
Hmm. Well, the apostle Paul clearly didn't spend as much time thinking about food as does your average small town Baptist or the cooks would have made that list of gifts. Just kidding. The world is way short of apostles, prophets, teachers, and miracles compared to folks who can whip up some Texas potatoes, ham salad, or mac 'n cheese on a dime. But, apocryphal or nay, the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln has the ring of truth....

The full laden tables and shelves of church cookbooks attest to the corollary: that God so loved the world...that He provided a passel of cooks. Common as grass and necessary as air: hands and heart serving where wisdom and words fail us common folk.

"Come and have breakfast."

"Feed my sheep."

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