Last month at a community event, I shared a story about my grandmother. I grew up in the city. My maternal grandparents were farmers. As a “city boy,” I loved going to the farm.
There were horses to ride, cows to milk, vegetables to pick, a tractor to ride, cold watermelon on hot, summer days and a pile of quilts in the unheated “sleeping porch” on cold, winter nights. It was a city boy’s escape from the concrete jungle, I measured time by the monthly trips we would take to my grandparents.
My favorite time of the day was early morning. If you know me, it will not surprise you that it was my favorite time of the day because it involved food! At a young age, I discovered there was nothing like a country breakfast cooked by my grandma. Her eggs were fried to perfection, the bacon was crispy, the grits were not watery and her biscuits … her biscuits were unparalleled and believe me I know biscuits!
Those hot biscuits, right out of the oven, slathered with butter and her homemade jelly, would melt in your mouth. Sipping on steaming, hot coffee while downing one of her biscuits made a perfect start for a day on the farm!
I remember one morning waking up extra early and not smelling the usual luscious aromas that came from grandma’s kitchen. The cooking had not started yet, so when I walked into the kitchen there was grandma and all the ingredients that went into making her fabulous biscuits. Flour, baking soda and powder, buttermilk, salt and butter were all sitting out on the counter. I looked at those individual ingredients and realized … alone they are awful. I hate buttermilk. Who wants to down a spoonful of flour or baking soda. But when my grandma put all those ingredients together, the outcome was amazing!
The church, the body of Christ, is much like my grandma’s biscuits. The individual ingredients are fine, but they are much better when combined with one another. Trying to live the spiritual life alone, in isolation, is like downing a spoonful of flour when you can have a biscuit. Churches that choose isolation, segregation and division are trading delicious biscuits for spoons of salt.
Just as those ingredients that go into making a scrumptious biscuit are “better together,” so are we as the body of Christ when we love one another, honor one another and have compassion for one another. So, let me encourage you to speak highly of other ministries and churches in our communities. Let me admonish you to quit disparaging other believers who may not see things exactly as you do. Let me exhort you to not live in isolation, but in community with others, in our church and in our communities. Finally, let me thank you for the way you in Central Texas have loved me and my family as we stare death in the face. We are “better together!”