A task that Margie has commenced in retirement is the sorting of recipes.Some have been cut from magazines and others have been typed out on sheets of paper. Many years ago we bought a copy of the Brighton Grammar cookbook and the only recipe used is for a chocolate cake – its called One for the Boys. Margie bakes this cake so often that she must know the recipe by heart, but I suspect she is afraid that one step or ingredient might be omitted. Why keep a whole book when only one recipe is used? And, of course, for many things now we go online and actually watch
something being prepared step by step.
Today’s gospel reading is giving some good teaching for the Christian life. It might seem demanding, but have you read this story before?
A parishioner bumped into a man who hadn’t been seen at church for a long time. This led to a greeting and the man asked the parishioner why the world was in such a state with signs of poverty even in his suburb. The parishioner really didn’t have all the answers and so suggested that the man pray about it. The response was, “I’ve thought about asking God why he allows poverty to exist, but I’m afraid he might ask me the same question.”
We have asked God this question at Parish Council and this has led to our connection with BayCISS. This doesn’t let us off the hook as individuals. Margie and I talk about donations that we might like to make to charitable agencies annually, but then there other opportunities we have to give to individuals.
The two points that stood out for me were at the beginning and the end. Firstly, “Do not be afraid.” Lastly, “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
“Do not be afraid” suggests to me that this is something I can do. Hence a recipe is good for those specific steps and oven temperatures, etc. that will ultimately produce a delicious chocolate cake. I’m not wanting to undermine the gospel by likening it to a recipe, but I do believe that God gives us teaching/visions/ideas and specific commands for many aspects of life. The challenge is to be open to him and obedient.
“… the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour” is a reminder to me that God’s grace is sufficient for me and that I can be ready to meet him. It takes me to the beginning “Do not be afraid.” It doesn’t load me with heaps of guilt, but it makes me stay in communication with the Lord Jesus so that I keep following him and hence be ready when he comes.
Talk to the Lord about the next step in your life.