Saturday (December 18) was National Bake Cookies Day, and I celebrated most appropriately! I made 205 tasty yummies (yes, I counted).
Making all of those treats took me all day, giving me plenty of time for my thoughts to wander . . .
Different cookies are made with different ingredients
There are no sweetened, dried cranberries in my Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls.
I made two cranberry cookies, but one recipe called for sweetened and dried, while the other called for chopped fresh cranberries.
Only one recipe called for oatmeal.
Different churches are composed of different kinds of members
If I go to a church across town, the folks who attend there are going to interact with one another differently than the people I see at my own church every week.
There will be different personalities with different gifts and ministries.
Different cookies look and taste differently
My Double Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal cookies look and taste absolutely nothing like my Walnut Fudge.
Each type’s outcome varies drastically based on ingredient types and preparation.
Different churches look and act differently
The history of a church, its members and its mission have a definite effect on how it works and behaves today. What it has been through as a body + what its members have been through individually + how it responds to the needs in the surrounding community + many other elements = the outcome we may experience today.
Each treat recipe calls for different methods
Imagine if I baked my peanut butter balls in the oven, when they’re supposed to set in the refrigerator! I’d end up with a panful of melted, sloppy mess.
God knows what recipe to use for His purposes
God knows each local church, where it is, who attends, what the community needs, and what His purpose is for that body.
He knows so much more than we do what that body needs to grow to maturity! What one church needs can be poles apart from what another one around the corner requires.
We forget sometimes that the church is His and not ours. We live to serve Him and each other, not the other way around.
You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.1 Peter 2:4-5a NLT
It can be easy to fall into judging other churches because they don’t look, worship or behave like the one we’re used to. I say, hooray!! How boring would that be if we were all the same??
As long as they proclaim the name of Jesus, they’re my brothers and sisters!
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Different people have different preferences!
I’m glad there are so many cookie options in my kitchen, and I’m glad there are so many different “flavors” of church in town. Each body is able to reach a different segment of the population that might otherwise remain unreached.