FAITH MATTERS

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FAITH MATTERS— on matters of faith as everyone believes in something!

“CHURCH IS LIKE MEATLOAF

By Rev. Dr. Brian Gigee

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”  – Hebrews 5:14 

This is probably one of those “don’t shoot the messenger” posts.  It’s just an idea.  It might be truer for some than it is for others.  Frankly, there’s nothing like a good slice of meatloaf.  Busy Bee has one.  So does Cracker Barrel and if you want to drive to Columbus, TX… Schobel’s can dish it up, as well … right off I-10.  And I must say… my wife makes G-R-E-A-T meatloaf, too!  Every time.  But, what’s this “Church is like meatloaf” thing you suggest?

Go with me here.  It’s just an idea.  One of those visual images that once you get it stuck in your head, you can never go back to the way you thought it was.  Trust me.  It happens.  And… the church CAN be like meatloaf…

This thought came to me as I listened to a clergy colleague preach a message on the Canaanite woman who scolded Jesus by saying… “Lord, even the dogs eat the breadcrumbs from the master’s table…”  It was her way of getting her daughter healed from a demon.  Jesus dismissed her at first because she was a woman (men don’t do that as much now as they used to… or I’d like to believe that with you!) and secondly because she was a Canaanite and if you know anything about Canaanites and the Jewish people… they kind of had the same feeling for each other like Aggies and Longhorns do or as where I hail from… like Ohio State fans feel about TTUP… referred to as That Team Up North!  So, this persistent woman got her way.  In fact, Jesus commended her for her ‘faith’ and because of it… her daughter was made well!  Ok, and breadcrumbs are one of the main ingredients of meat loaf.  There… now… I’ve got you…

Do you have a good meatloaf recipe? If you do, then you already know that the church can be like meatloaf… as it’s purpose is to feed and nourish… and is made up of all kinds of things and can be kept from day to day until it has completed its task…

Think about what’s in a meatloaf… ground steak or hamburger… mix in some sweet Italian sausage and then throw in an egg or two along with the bread crumbs and a glass of Merlot or Sangria depending on whether you want to sweeten the taste or add a little bite.  The church is like that… bringing God’s sweetness to the world but also can offer up a ‘bite’ to that which is evil, unjust or flat out wrong… you know like casting a light upon the darkness exposing what is not in God’s wheelhouse for good living…

And then there is the topping… adding some BBQ sauce or a special ketchup/mustard mix with a few spoons full of brown sugar… Yum… but it’s never meatloaf until it goes into the fire… getting placed into the heat as the cook/creator will make sure happens… suggesting that the church needs the fire of the Holy Spirit to make the church be its best… ready, flavorful, nourishing and easy to serve…

In the writings of St. Paul, he often speaks about how he has taught the early church with ‘spiritual milk’ … but that it was not going to be enough… as the mature, developing follower of Jesus would need to take a bite into the meat and substance of the gospel story.  So, there you are… as you’ll no longer be able ever to look at any meatloaf without thinking of Jesus’ church… giving you the power of discernment by good practice to distinguish good from evil.  Faith matters!  Everyone believes in something!

Rev.   Dr.   Brian   K.   Gigee   is   a   long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches in Texas and Louisiana over the last four   decades.     Follow   his   blog ‘murmurings’ at https://briangigee.wordpress.com/.   Your comments   and/or   questions   are   always welcomed to [email protected].            

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