Photo used with permission from April Fool Virtual Bakery. Thanks, Mark!
Last weekend, as members of our church council gathered together, Jane S. gave a great devotional message about the importance of our various gifts. God has given each of us a particular set of talents and abilities, and God wants us to use these gifts well as we grow in our faith. But, as I was thinking about today’s scripture, it occurred to me that the same example Jane used to teach us about our gifts could also apply to the thing Jesus tells us today (Matthew 5:48). As Jesus was teaching his followers about the way God works, he kept telling them, “I expect more out of you than just following the rules. I want you to be changed into something new. I want you to be perfect, completely like God, so you can show the rest of the world how much God loves every single person on earth.” That sounds impossible, doesn’t it? But we don’t change into something new by ourselves: God does it. And it doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye – it takes a while.
So here’s the deal: I have some ingredients here, and I need you to help me change them into something new. (Distribute ingredients for Brownies, each in its own resealable bag) Do all these ingredients look like something you would want to eat? If we mixed them up together, what do you think we would get? (Cream together butter and sugar, add egg, then flour, baking powder, cocoa, salt) Now what do we have? It has changed, but can we eat it yet? Can you tell what it’s going to be? (Spread batter into pan) They aren’t brownies until we bake them, so let’s get some help with that. (Give an adult the brownies for baking in the church kitchen during the rest of worship) Just like the brownies, we aren’t done yet. God is still working inside each of us to change us into people who make the world a better place. He’s making each of us more and more like him every day, just like those brownies, baking in the oven, will become more and more like something you could eat after church. Let’s pray.
God, keep working on us to make us more like you. Change us into people who care more, who help more, who love more, so we can be more like Jesus. Amen.