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Have your cake and Eat it

I like cake. I mean who doesn’t right? I even quite enjoy baking cakes, although I rarely find the time. But as well as enjoying them I also find them fascinating. Who first thought of putting flour and butter and eggs and sugar together and then sticking them in an oven? Did they know what it would look like when it came out? Did they know how delicious it would be? I think the thing that fascinates me most is that on the whole most ingredients in any cake are visually unrecognisable in the finished cake – you can’t see them, and yet not only are they there but they’re fundamental to what the cake is like.

Take out any one of the ingredients and you would have something completely different. A totally different cake or more likely something not recognisable as a cake at all. Every ingredient has its purpose, nothing could be removed without it ceasing to be what it’s supposed to be. Equally no other ingredient could be added to the mixture without changing the cake that was produced. Without baking powder or the right type of flour the cake won’t rise, without eggs the mixture won’t bind together and I think it’s fair to say that all the ingredients change the flavour in some way!

In one of my lessons this week we were looking at a bible passage and were asked; “if this passage were a cake, what would it’s ingredients be?” I thought that this was a great question to really look at what made something what it was and reached far beyond just passages of scripture. I think about myself, if I were a cake what would the ingredients be? My physical make-up? Blood and bones and (a small amount of) muscle and brains? How I spend my time? College and Church and watching TV? What I think about? My desire to share about Jesus and my worries about meeting deadlines? If I removed some of these things or added others, what would I look like? Could I be more like the cake that God made me to be?

Pauls first letter to the Corinthians also comes to mind, where he describes the Church as a body – each part making up the whole. Perhaps the church too can be thought of as a cake? One where each of us are one of the ingredients. Without each of us the Church would not be the same – it would look and taste different. Each one of us, however unimportant we might feel has an impact on everyone of the rest of us, on the whole church. Each one of us can change the Churches persona; what it holds as important, how it reaches out to its community, how it works together, ultimately who it is.

The last thing that fascinates me about cake is that mixing all the ingredients together isn’t enough. That doesn’t make a cake, it simply makes cake mixture. To make a cake it needs to be put in an oven. It is only then that it is transformed and becomes something new. So it is with us. We can mix all the ingredients together, but only when we are brought into the presence of God are we transformed into something new.

Originally written for the February 2022 ABC Newsletter

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