Reading: Deuteronomy 18 verses 15 – 22
Thought: You know when you have a plan? And it’s going to be amazing? You are going to make everyone a treat they’ll never forget. And … you do. Except, it’s not quite for the reasons you’d hoped that they’d remember!
I had it all worked out : the recipe, the ingredients, the oven on – I could almost smell the baking before I’d even put an ingredient into the bowl. The Great British Bake-off had my name all over the final. And, to begin with, it all looked great. The tin was in the oven, the shortbread to end all shortbreads was cooking its way to wonderfulness. Except it wasn’t. My rip-roaring success turned to Paul Hollywood stare of doom failure when the mix just wouldn’t leave the tin in the pretty squares it was meant to. Why? Because, despite my best laid plans, I’d left out an ingredient and without it, all I had done was bake a disaster. Yes, it looked like it had all gone to plan. Yes, I’d baked it for the correct time. Would anyone watching me pull the tin from the oven have known I’d messed up? Highly unlikely. It was just when I tried to cut it and serve it out that my total flop took away my self- awarded Great British Bake-off winner’s title and dropped it in bin (along with the shortbread shocker!) My shortbread attempt had filed miserably for one very simple reason: I’d left out a key ingredient, the one that held all the others together.
In Deuteronomy 18 verse 22, we are told very clearly that if anyone claims to speak a message from God, if it doesn’t come to be, it is not truly from God. In the Old Testament, prophecies about Jesus’ birth and life were spoken and because that was God’s plan, we know they came true. Even today, as we journey through life, we will hear many things about what may or may not happen and about what God would want us to do. It is so important that we don’t just take the word of those who tell us these things. Just like I had to take the shortbread out of the tin to try it to see if it had worked, so we need to test the messages that people tell us which they say are from God. We should use the Bible, which we know is His word, checking whether or not their message really is from God and is what He wants us to know. If it’s not truly from God, then we will not find that message in the Bible but, if it is, then what is said can be tested against scripture and we will see the truth of those words.
If we miss an ingredient, our recipe won’t turn out for the best. If we try to follow a way that is not God’s then we know that it will not work out for our best either.
As we think about Christmas and what it means, as well as life itself, take time to think about the messages we hear and check them against what we know is God’s true word. Make sure that the messages we take to heart have the most special of all ingredients: God’s truth! That way we will know that we are following the recipe for life that God has written for us!
Carol of the Day: Child in the Manger
Advent Activity: Microwave salt dough
Materials Needed: 1cup salt, 2 cups flour, water to add as required. Shape cutters. Straw to pierce a hole. (This recipe cooks in the microwave which is great for speed, just keep a close eye in case it burns! Probably best to work in 10 second bursts.) Finger prints – We’ve always had fun putting finger prints on salt dough ornaments to make them truly unique!