I am taking a class about online marketing of books through an e-mail group with author Linore Rose Burkard. In the latest e-mail, she mentioned that while we do social networking online, we should connect with people according to their interests. She mentioned the verses in I Corinthians 9 in which Paul says, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew. . . to those under the law . . . to those outside the law . . . to the weak . . . I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel . . .” (vv.19-23).
Yesterday evening, as I was making three types of Gooey Butter Cake (Plain, Chocolate, and Pumpkin) for my husband’s workplace, I was struck by how many variants there are on the original recipe. My grandmother used to make it with some regularity and she always made the plain one. In fact, I did not know there was any other way to make it until a couple of months ago. The base ingredients, however, are always the same: cake mix, butter, and an egg for the bottom layer and cream cheese, two eggs, vanilla, and powdered sugar for the top layer (sounds deliciously devastating to a diet, doesn’t it?). You can add pumpkin to the top, chocolate, peanut butter, or probably just about anything, but the heart of the recipe is the same.
As I like to do when baking, I allowed my mind to wander. Remembering what Linore had said, it struck me that we as Christians are a little bit like Gooey Butter Cake. The base is the same (Word of God, His Spirit working through that Word and through the Sacraments in our lives, and the Faith that was planted in our hearts), but the extras are as many and varied as the people who have been called according to God’s purpose. What an excellent blessing!
Christ came to a world of hurting, broken people. We who have been touched and healed by His love are now freed to serve others who are hurt, broken, and lost. We can meet people where they are, interact with those people according to common interests – we can be all thing to all people, so that as instruments of God’s grace, we might be the tool God uses to save them!