“I thank You, O holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, who have deigned, not through any merits of mine, but out of the condescension of Your goodness, to satisfy me a sinner, Your unworthy servant.” Thomas Aquinas
Were the whole realm of Nature mine, That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.” Isaac Watts
If Thanksgiving binging wasn’t enough, I’m binging through Netflix’s season nine of the “Great British Bake Off.” Mary Prue and Paul Hollywood’s ability to taste specific ingredients is uncanny. For a baker to earn Paul’s handshake, every ingredient, texture and process must be spot on. Most bakers embrace their critique with grace and humility.
The “Great British Bake Off” captures the Christian concept of service.
Luke 17:7-10 reads:
“But who is there among you, having a servant plowing or keeping sheep, that will say, when he comes in from the field, “Come immediately and sit down at the table,” and will not rather tell him, “Prepare my supper, clothe yourself properly, and serve me, while I eat and drink. Afterward you shall eat and drink”? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded? I think not. Even so you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, “We are unworthy servants. We have done our duty.”
Interestingly, the difference between the Pharisee and those who receive God’s handshake isn’t in the 612 rules (each generation counts their slightly different). It’s in the personal ingredients they offer. Doing your job won’t cut it for Jesus or the follower of Jesus.
Followers of Jesus add that extra ingredient of a crucified heart. When a saint understands the Psalmist prayer, “Taste and see that the Lord is Good” it’s really a prayer to see life’s ingredients as He sees them. We live out the seven acts of mercy, taste the body and blood of Christ, and our zip code is located at the foot of the cross.
Grace is the daily awareness of knowing our missing ingredient.