Last evening my husband and I went to a local diner for dinner. I love to cook and normally would not be going out on a weeknight but the day was long and I was tired and you know how that goes- even ministers get tired...
I looked over the novella length menu and chose pork loin with honey apricot glaze. The meal came with soup or salad, mashed potatoes, green beans, a choice of dessert, and a hefty bread basket. SO much food! I knew I wouldn't eat it all, and ended up taking home a fair amount of leftovers (YEAH!). I recently started watching the Netflix reality program "That Leftover Show" and so my mind jumped to the plethora of dishes I might make from what would make it home.
This morning I checked the bag of leftover bread basket items and pulled out a 3"x3" cinnamon roll. (As an aside, what is a cinnamon roll doing in a dinner bread basket? Who wants dessert before dinner? The same person who would eat a cheese danish before dinner, I suppose... which was also in the basket.)
The cinnamon bun was appropriately stale from being in a paper bag overnight. I could have probably heated it up and put a big slab of butter on it, but I wanted something more substantial and well balanced. It is sermon writing day, after all.
My sermon title this week is, "A Cake, A Cave, A Cloak, A Covenant, and a Call." It's a story from the book of 1 Kings 19:1-15, about the Prophet Elijah on the run for his life in the desert. Elijah had done what he believed God was telling him to do, and God showed up. However, though God came through in flaming fury, the infamous Queen Jezebel was less than pleased at this fiery display of power which, as no small aside, killed all her best soldiers. So she promptly sent her entire army to kill the once bold, now fearful prophet.
When Elijah had run as far as he can and collapsed, exhausted and fed up with the God who was, according to Elijah, supposed to have made him a hero instead of a fugitive, he falls into a deep sleep. Now, I don't know if God felt a little sorry for Elijah having gone through such an ordeal, or if God just knew he'd be hungry by now- but God sent and angel to wake him up... with cake!!!
What's more, when Elijah had finished off his angel food cake, or whatever angels knew how to make in those days, he lay back down to sleep. And after he had slept for who knows how long, he was woken up again by the angel of God with even more cake!
Proof positive God loves breakfast pastry!!!
After breakfast God directs Elijah to a cave where, after a windstorm, an earthquake, and a fire, God appears... according the the story, in a still small voice... in the silence. Elijah and God had it out, and he got to whine appropriately to God, and God, except for the cake, didn't sugar coat anything, but instead fortified Elijah, this time spiritually, turned him around, and sent him back out to do more ministry.
Perhaps that sounds like a disappointment. I personally could have done with a bit more coddling on God's part. When I feel frustrated and scared, I like a bit more sympathy, and maybe just one sliver more of that breakfast cake.
But, in the end, what Elijah got, is more like ministry actually, is. We get a call from God. We do what we believe God is asking us to do. And, Like Elijah, when we do what God asks of us, we can feel like we should be entitled to some reward, preferably in the form of hero worship. It would be nice to be recognized and adored for what we do, and for what we're giving up in doing it! And someone, someone should at the very least, say 'thanks!' But more often, we end up pissing someone off, and then running around in frustration until we exhaust ourselves.
But, oh weary workers of miracles...
God sees... And we sleep.
God bakes... And we eat.
God shows up to meet us... And we whine appropriately.
God speak to us in the silence (between our whines)...
And we renew our promise (covenant) with God.
God sends us out again...
And we obey, knowing it wont be any easier this
We obey, because God is God,
and God is love, and love is the way.
...and look forward to our next divine cake in the desert.
Is it any wonder I decided to do a breakfast of cake-like raspberry french toast? Can you think of a breakfast more divine?
I smiled into the still small voice in my head, and sliced the roll into 5 pieces. I whisked up an egg, some walnut milk, a splash of vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon. I soaked the bread in the egg mixture for a while to absorb the nutty goodness, turning occasionally.
Then I moved the pieces to a hot cast iron skillet. Ahh, the sizzle! When fully cooked and browned on all sides, I topped them with a bit of powdered sugar and covered the dish with fresh raspberries.
A dish for the angels... or at least for a tired prophet, listening for God's voice in the silence between the whines.