We extend our thanks to Brendan Armitage for providing this week’s email devotion.
He saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5.
“Smash the cucumber a few times with the back of your knife before cutting it into lengthwise quarters and then into 1/2” chunks. Pour on sauce and leave for 30 minutes for flavors to mingle.”
So goes a recipe for a “Smashed cucumber salad”. Pretty good too. You see, if you just cut a cucumber into small chunks and pour the sauce over top…it really never tastes like much. The flavorful sauce from the recipe slides off the food onto the plate, and the end result is a whole lotta raw cucumber and not much flavor. “Smashing” the poor cuke before cutting it creates lots of irregular edges that hold the sauce and the flavor. End result? Your mouth is a happier place.
Your day, your week, your month and maybe even your year may end up looking smashed a lot like my cucumber salad. Your job may be furloughed. Your social calendar may make you look like you became a hermit, and we won’t even talk about what happened to your plans for “Beachbody 2020”. (The sweatpants may stay on until 2021.) But that Netflix video binging you’ve been doing provides opportunities for post “Tiger King” discussion. Teaching your kids gave you a much better appreciation of what your teachers go through daily. You can only watch so many hours of “Bachelor” reruns before you start to share your own college history with your family. (Your kids or grandkids may even see you in a whole new light.) Your “smashed” schedule causes more of your humanity to stick to your public persona. What you would call “mistakes” in the moment might also be your best opportunity for shared discovery, for renewal, and for growth, in quite a while.
As you wander through the remains of your day, thank God that you are living in these interesting times. Thank God that you are forced by boredom, by social isolation, or by necessity to think and live outside the box of your usuality. Thank God that you have some rough edges right now, as you’ll have some interesting stories later. Our Martin Luther smashed the applecart of Catholic Christianity in his day, during the times of the Bubonic Plague. The result? 500 years of Lutheran teaching, helping, and serving. Nothing unusual about change for we Lutherans. After all, aren’t the edges the best part?
See you on Church @ home.