I think you may have figured out by now that I like to cook. I’ve talked about it in sermons, I’ve written about it in these articles, I’ve actually cooked for various groups in the church, I brag about my grill skills and my awesome chef’s knife. I like planning meals. I like finding new ways to cook new vegetables. I even like to grocery shop.
I’ve taken four bags for the Reverse Advent Calendar that CIS is sponsoring this winter. The idea is this: you put an item of food into the bag each day during Advent, and then we’ll all lug them up on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and dedicate them before donating them. I’m not bragging about taking four, it’s that Chris and I will be at both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and we’ll want to make an offering each time. (You can do the same thing, by the way! There’s no maximum!)
In short, I am doing something simple so that others may have their basic needs met. I’ve been told by a few of our tenured members that we used to have a banner that read “Live simply so that others may simply live,” and that’s what I’m doing with this, and you can, too. It means fewer nights out, but I think I’ll survive. And, so too will someone else.
And while this is vitally important, I want to make this clear: no matter how many bags we fill (and oh, I am hoping that Kathy and John Leslie have to make another round of Reverse Advent Calendar bags, that would be such a great thing!) we are not going to resolve hunger in Dallas forever with it. It is still important work. And it should remind us that we still have work to do. Discipleship—living life that is really life—is a life-long effort that requires patience, practice, sacrifice and thanksgiving. But we can do it.
On Sunday, we’ll be wrapping up our series called “Live Simply,” and we’ll be talking about gratitude. Something to consider until Sunday—theologian Karl Barth once wrote, “Gratitude follows grace like thunder [follows] lightning.” What does it mean to see the flashes and hear the kabooms of the Reign of God in this world? I look forward to seeing you then.