God’s Refrigerator

Posted: June 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

Jesus frequently taught in parables.  Throughout the Gospels, Jesus began with the phrase “the Kingdom of God is like …” then went on to relate simple stories that featured activities and objects that people were familiar with.  Jesus used parables to communicate to both the common people and the religious leaders. Rather than using the words of the learned scholars, Jesus spoke in everyday language that connected with His audience.  Though the religious leaders regularly resorted to quoting one another or used academic language, Jesus spoke in the storytelling format already familiar to His culture. In doing so, He connected with His audience in a way the religious leaders did not, both touching personal needs and communicating spiritual truth.  By using parables, Jesus encouraged people to spend time pondering the story He told.   

With my background in youth ministry, I have long been a big fan of the object lesson.  And Adam Hamilton, our speaker at Annual Conference, said in one of his teaching sessions that effective preaching will relate spiritual truths to real everyday life.  This past Tuesday at Bible study, we were discussing the Gospel of John, chapter 14 and I don’t remember exactly how the conversation took this particular turn, but in my notebook I wrote the words “God’s refrigerator” and thought that this would be a good topic for a parable.  So here goes …

We can learn a lot about God and a life of faith by looking at God’s refrigerator.  As you approach it, you will notice that it is adorned with drawings and other works of art done by His children.  Isn’t that the way with your refrigerator?  Drawings, coloring sheets, school quizzes always seem to have a prominent place on the refrigerators of most parents.  The important thing to note is that these are often imperfect, sometimes messy and rarely art museum quality.  The drawing may be crude and the coloring is frequently outside of the lines, but they have earned a right to be displayed.  They merit a spot on the fridge not because of their quality, but simply because they were done by our child.  It was the best they had to offer and that’s good enough to be put on display for all to see. My daughter Katie has been artistic all her life and has done some beautiful work, but one of my favorites was this drawing of unicorna unicorn she did when she was about 3 years old.  I love it not because it was perfect, but because it was her work.  It is the same with God.  God doesn’t demand perfection.  Throughout scripture we see God using imperfect people for the sake of his mission. Look at the people Jesus called to be His 12 closest followers.  He didn’t call the popular, rich or successful to further his ministry, but rather, the poor, broken and faithful.  This continues today.  Jesus calls imperfect people, just like us, to be His followers.  And He calls imperfect people, just like us, to love our neighbors and to care for the least of these … the poor, the weak, the marginalized, the abused.  You may feel that you will never do big things for God, but we were reminded at Bible study of a quote by Mother Teresa – “We can do no great things, just small things with great love.”   If you do what you can for those who cross your path in life, God will applaud your effort and reward you by placing your effort on the door of his fridge.  “Look what my child did for me!”

In the words of Max Lucado,

“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.

If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.

He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen.

He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.

What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary.

Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you.”

 

 

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