Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kneading Something New

My grammy makes the best homemade bread and cinnamon rolls known to man!  She makes it completely from scratch which, of course, makes it even better!  When I was little I thought it was the coolest thing ever that the bread would rise by itself.  I remember sleep overs at Grammy’s house and running into the kitchen the next morning to see the bread in a huge balloon spilled over onto the counter and I thought to myself, “Grammy is magic!”  Then she would gather it all up and squash it down and beat it into submission so that she could roll it out and add lots of butter, sugar, and cinnamon (you know all the good stuff) and make us some delicious treats.

I’ve been thinking this week how that relates to life.  Many times in the church I think we try to put bread dough in a bowl and expect it not to rise.  You have people who don’t fit the mold, who push the boundaries, ask questions, and spill over onto the counter.  Then we want to come in and knead those people with spiritual discipline, moral guidelines, duty, and guilt that we use beat them into submission.  That’s great for bread… but people aren’t bread. 

Jesus didn’t really fit in the bowl of spirituality in his day either.  He preached on mountainsides instead of synagogues, hung out with fishermen instead of scholars, partied with prostitutes instead of priests, and loved instead of judged.  The Pharisees tried to squash Jesus and make him fit in the bowl but instead Jesus had something to say about their dishes. 

“But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well?”   

Man Jesus straight called this guy out who was judging him because he didn’t wash his hands before he ate.  So many times inside the church walls we worry about how the outside looks, how well behaved our kids are, how many attend our services every week, how abstinent our youth are, and how well our members can quote scripture, and we forget about the nastiness on the inside of the cup. 

It’s interesting because we jump to believe that those who don’t sparkle on the outside must by just as dull on the inside as well.  This causes the innovators to remain silent and those who were born to stand out to run and hide.  I am proud to say that I’m pretty sure God added a little extra yeast when he mixed me because I find myself, more times than not, spilling over onto the counter creating a mess. 

The more I take in the wonder of grace the more I spill over and cover the people in my life with this messy wonder of Jesus.  So my challenge to you is this, don’t try to fit in the bowl.  Don’t try to make others around you fit in their bowls either.  Free them to make a mess and watch a revolution rise to take over the counter. 

~Luke 11:39-40 (NET) 

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