Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of baking. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook and to bake, but my mixer has been working overtime. I’ve been making cakes and cookies and pies, in fact one day I had to stop my mixer because it was making that “hot” smell they might make before it bursts into flames! Luckily, the mixer cooled down and I was able to continue.
While I’m using my mixer, I often think back to a passage in Judy Miller’s book Seasons of the Heart. I’m not going to quote it verbatim, but want us to think about an analogy she made. When I am mixing up a cake, I can’t just run my mixer in the middle. If I do, some ingredients get tossed up on the sides of the mixing bowl and not incorporated into the cake. If I would just pour this mixture into my pan and bake it, perhaps it would not rise properly or taste good. There would definitely be pieces of dry mix or other ingredients and it wouldn’t be the cake I had intended to make. When I use my mixer, I often have to stop or slow it down and scrape the sides of my bowl, getting all of the ingredients into the path of the beaters. Judy Miller makes the point that it is the same in the church, the family of God. She states that: “it is needed for all of us to work together with God, so that the unity of faith and the bond of peace may be seen by all men in the one body of Christ”.
Have you ever done a study of the “one another” passages in the New Testament? In preparing this article, I did a quick search on a computer program and found 113 references! Let me list just a few that I found. Romans 12:16 says to “Be of the same mind toward one another.” Romans 14:19 “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” I Corinthians 12:25 “that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” Galatians 5:13 “through love serve one another.” And finally, Hebrews 10:25 “but exhorting one another.”
Can we be the one body of Christ if we stay away from the mixture of Christians who are down in the mixing bowl? How else can we be of the same mind, edify, care, serve and exhort if we’re not together?
Weneed the “mixing together” of each member’s faith and love, strengths and abilities, experiences and sufferings to fortify the whole. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck to the side of the mixing bowl. Get involved in the work of the church. Get involved in the lives of other members. We are here to make the body of Christ strong, and when we allow ourselves to be mixed with each other and work together using our different talents and different seasons of life, we will be the church Christ wants.