It’s 4:30 on Sunday afternoon. “All I can smell is bacon,” I holler from my kitchen. It’s the same space that we had cooked the bacon almost 7 hours earlier. We had mostly recovered; only the smell lingered, but we had finally been able to close the windows. I used to get mad at people who cooked breakfasts on the weekends, and then left their windows open for all the neighborhood to be enticed. I felt it was elitist…. I never got bacon on the weekends, or any other time for that matter, except for a soggy experience at Shoney’s when my grandparents came to town. No one ever made me eggs, or waffles, or a mixed fruit bowl for the first meal of the day. But now that I try to create a “specialness” to the time my own family can eat breakfast together, I realize the windows of the houses with such accommodations were not to create envy, but to let out the smoke. The incredible amount of grease-smoke that came from making all the deliciousness of the morning items.
I guess that also goes to explain the grease smell at Waffle House, no matter what time of day (or night!) you pay them a visit. But I digress.
I wonder how often people experience our “Christianity” with the same heavy-scented, elitist-dripping, grace-filled, “too blessed to be stressed”, open window mentality. I am not saying let’s pretend that Christ did not die for us, or that we aren’t saved and redeemed by the grace of our Lord… But so is the rest of the neighborhood. Just because we have accepted the invitation of salvation and redemption doesn’t mean we should cook it up on the weekends for our own family, then slyly look across the fence at someone eating cold cereal and think, “Awe, if they only knew”.
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
If the law is bacon, then it should be obviously permeated through you for all who come in your contact. The “joy of the Lord” is not mine. It’s not yours. It is not for me to stifle in my own family’s home, only to waft to those who have not experienced it. This does not entice people to come to know the LORD. It only TICKS THEM OFF and gives you another reason to repent. Rather the joy that comes from the knowledge and security of the Love of God is For. Every. One. And instead of partaking of it “indoors”, it is high time that the church comes out of their own “homes” and makes a picnic for the neighborhood.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.
Niki is a wife and mother of 2 children. She lives in Charlotte, NC where she enjoys everyday moments that ignite her relationship with our Lord and Savior.