Christmas is coming! Christmas is the centre of our Christian lives and is very important to us as we celebrate together the birth on Earth of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was born to give us salvation. Part of these wonderful and joyous celebrations is Christmas cooking and baking. Cookies! Cakes! Fudge! Pies! Remember the beautiful aroma of Grandma baking for Christmas in the kitchen? The heart-warming aroma of mince pies fresh from the oven, that wafted around all the rooms giving everywhere that very homely feeling? Or the freshly baked cookies or just roasted and mouth watering turkey? These delectable foods turned out so well because Grandma knew what she was dong, and she followed her recipes to the letter.
Let me tell you about when my father used to do his baking. My poor father was not much of a cook. He would pour all the ingredients into the mixing bowl, only guessing how much of each ingredient should be used for the correct mixture, because he thought it was much easier and quicker than studying the recipe requirements first. There were a couple of times when his baking turned out to be edible, however on the majority of occasions he’d plainly not been anywhere near correct. NOT GOOD! On one of these occasions, he had been making pastry for a mince pie. The pastry crust was so hard that when he threw it in temper because it had tuned out badly, the crust hit the window and smashed it! He used this same slap dash method when doing any baking whether pies, cookies, or even roasting turkey for Christmas Day dinner.
If we think about these examples, we can see that the ingredients for the correct turnout of the pastry, and other things, had been there for him if only he had studied, understood and followed the recipe, as it had been written down in the cookery book, therefore ensuring his Christmas mince pies would’ve tasted delicious.. When it comes to having true faith and Trust in our Lord Jesus and the correct recipe by which we should live our lives, do we as read, understand, and follow the guidance he has set out for us? Or do we merely guess because we think we know better? Or worse still, feel that it does not matter about doing it the correct way? It is easy to read the Holy word of God, but are we actually following all of his guidance in all areas of our lives?
There have been many times that man has rebelled against God, not followed God’s recipe. Let us look at the example of Jonah….
Jonah rebelled against God, he was rather foolish and selfish. He mistakenly thought that he could, in fact, run away from God. He ignored what God was asking of him and decided he wanted to follow his own desires instead. Jonah had, and indulged in, prejudice against the people of Nineveh, Israel’s greatest enemy. When it came to the fate of the Ninevites, Jonah decided that it was he, not God, who knew best. Not until Jonah had been thrown overboard a ship, nearly drowned, and had been swallowed by a whale, and remained inside its stomach for a full three days, did the reluctant Jonah finally recognised the power of God and to repented and to thanked God for his life. Eventually Jonah, even though he had resented it, did his duty, followed God’s recipe, and delivered God’s message to Nineveh with skill and accuracy.
While it may appear that we can run or hide from God, we’re only fooling ourselves. While it may appear that our recipes are better than Gods, our pastry crust will be hard and our turkeys inedible. We have a duty to God and to carry it out to the best of our ability.
God is in control of things, not us. When we choose to disobey him, we should expect bad consequences God sets the agenda and timetable. Our job is to follow his instructions, to follow his recipes. Amen!