“Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed. Mary has chosen what is better …” Luke 10: 41-42 NIV
My mother is an incredible cook. Her ministry takes place in the kitchen, and she loves to feed everyone! She prepares special meals for guests and sends homemade food to people who need a hand. When anyone is ill, she delivers homemade food. For every type of celebration, she produces spectacular feasts. She has a recipe for any dish you can imagine, and a pantry that is always stocked.
Mom shared many lessons from her kitchen with me. She taught me that when you feel prompted to cook for someone, you need to follow through with that idea. She showed me how to prepare a meal at a moment’s notice from whatever you have on hand. From her example, I learned that if you are working alone in the kitchen because you haven’t sought help, you shouldn’t get upset. Teaching cooking skills to everyone around her, she made sure everyone had a job to do in the kitchen. She knew the importance of sitting around the table to enjoy a meal together, without fretting over the newly created pile of dirty dishes.
In her own way, she taught me about the virtues of being like Mary AND like Martha! It is necessary to be ready and willing to be hospitable, but it also important to be able to relax and share the moment with your company.
Recently, I had a ‘nudge’ to prepare a meal for a friend who was having a difficult week. I worried about my already full schedule and my house not being tidy enough. I asked myself what Mom would do. I reminded myself what God would want me to do. Looking through my cookbooks, I found a handwritten recipe that a lady from church shared with me 20 years ago.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Serve often, in generous amounts.
My ‘house’ wasn’t feeling very tidy, but my ‘pantry’ was well stocked. I had plenty of ingredients to make this “fruit salad” recipe. I grinned as I thought about how well fed everyone would be if THESE were the things we nourished ourselves with every day. And then I called my friend to invite her to supper.
As my guests arrived on Friday night, a bowl full of fresh fruit rested on the counter for everyone to nibble while we prepared the rest of the meal together. We laughed and visited, while we ate and rested. We ministered to each other throughout the evening. In addition to tostadas, I also served the “fruits of the spirit”. No one minded the untidy house as the stresses of the week vanished. Everyone was fed and loved.
Is there someone you know who would feel loved, appreciated and nurtured if you blessed them with a meal? It doesn’t have to be home made, expensive or fancy. It just has to be served. I invite you to act on that prompting today. You’ll end up feeding your spirit as well as your friend!
Lord Jesus, Thank you for opportunities to serve, for resources to share, and for reminders to enjoy the fruits of our labor as we share the fruits of the Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
For more encouragement, or to share your favorite ‘recipes’ for ministry, please contact me at email@example.com