That's right. Over the roar of dishes clanking under the suds and the blur of vegetables chopping, the sermon gets preached to my big audience of who ever is sitting at my table at the time.
So, this week, a big, black, blind man who goes by "Bear" was in "pew" hearing me wax eloquently..
Bear got in the night before, and the next morning, after breakfast, everyone had something to do: Will was in his study prepping for tomorrow's sermon, Jamie was locked in his room taking a Physics test, and Jo, Hud and Than were at Saturday morning music classes.
Emily, Bear and I were in the kitchen. I was trying to scale Mt. Dish, and brown meat, pressure cook beans and reorganize what was left of the homemade donut fest from the night before. Normally, I would call this a blitz, but I don't like trample over guests in a frenzy.. the way I normally trample over my family.
So, Bear says, "I don't drink coffee... because I'm a member of unnamed religion.."
Now Bear was joking, I know. But this ensued a lively discussion about the lure of different religions.
Bear says, "They look and seem so happy. I wonder if they might be right. They say they have everything we have."
Me: "Well, maybe they are happy. Maybe they are even happier. Why does that matter?"
"Did you come to Jesus to be happy, Bear?"
"or to get saved from your sins?"
He didn't respond.
Many groups and religions claim happiness and even health and healing. It's not our job to try to unearth their unhappiness. Happiness may or may not be the outcome of those who follow Christ. I can see how we who live in the wealthier countries would confuse the issue. But something tells me that those who follow Jesus in other (persecuted) countries decided to not for the happiness and blessings it would produce on earth.
And then he said, "Some people don't even seem like they are sinners. They are sooo good."
My response: "It's not really our job to comb through people's lives, convincing ourselves that they are sinners. It's just our job to acknowledge the sin in our own lives. I know the Bible says that everyone is a sinner, except for Christ. So, I just believe it. As far as my sin, I know it's there, and I'm glad I have a Savior. There's no getting to heaven on my good works.."
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
When I'm in my kitchen pulpit, there's rarely even an open Bible. There are no well-thought out illustrations, and there's no altar call. There's no conclusion either. The sermon usually ends with, "Could you chop these for me?" or "The trash needs to go out" directed to someone else.
And no one comes up afterwards and says, "Good sermon, pastor" because I'm not a pastor. I'm a simple homemaker who wears a dorky apron. And yet, some of the most profound sermons are things that I've heard in other kitchen pews, told by apron-wearing preachers.
Sometimes I wonder if all of this preaching might be easier if I didn't have a wooden spoon in my hand at the same time, and have to shout over the rhythmic rocking of the pressure cooker, but this is God's will for my life right now. He's given me the abilities to multi-task, to blitz, and to have a "high brow thought" and such a willing audience, allured by the promise of food.
Perhaps the Lord and the saints that have gone before get a real charge out of this kind of scene in heaven. After all, it's far more entertaining than what you normally see on Sunday morning.
I can hear 'em now.. "Hey, you guys.. come see this. There's this fire-breathing preacher who shouts at people with a knife in hand.." And they all crowd around (in heavenly port-holes) and giggle.
It's this kind of nonsense that makes my home sing. Join us for Mom's the word.