In an attempt to be a bit more positive today, I thought I’d take a short walk back in time to my jam gift- making for 2020. These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago now.
Here come the pickies…
This year I made grape, cherry, peach & pear and apricot jam. I made some lemon butter also.
When I was boiling up my jams a couple of weeks ago, I was reflecting on the fact that when you bake there are all these individual ingredients that are pretty good on their own – eg. cherries – and they all serve a purpose independently.
But obviously when you boil them together, the meaning of each ingredient is realised in a new way.
It reminded me of the ancient Jews in the Old Testament, which is the part of The Bible exploring events before Jesus was on earth. It reminded me how all these different events take place, which have significance in and of themselves, but once Jesus turns up, he brings them all together and gives them added significance. So you realise, with the benefit of hindsight, that all these Old Testament ingredients are actually giving you all these little insights into Jesus’ character.
For example, Noah: there’s an ark, there’s some animals, there’s lots of rain, 40 days, 40 nights, there’s some birds that Noah sends out to check when the flood waters have subsided…
But it’s easy to miss the point of the event, with all the water.
God sends the flood to destroy the earth because everyone’s ignoring him. Noah shows us that God desires to save instead. Noah gives us the ingredient of salvation.
Or take Joseph.
Sold into slavery by his brothers, then falsely accused, left languishing in a jail, forgotten by someone he helps who is on the outside, languishes in jail some more… until finally he’s freed.
Yet he’s freed for a purpose – to help his country, which at that point in time is ancient Egypt, which is about to suffer a famine. He goes from the lowest of lows to the highest in the country, except for the Pharaoh of course.
Joseph shows us suffering, but suffering for a purpose.
Or think of Ruth, a Moabite: not even an Israelite. She receives grace, mercy, security and a clear welcome when she comes to live among the Jews. She even marries into the line of kings.
Ruth shows us it’s not about being in the ‘in’ religious crowd, or considered important. All are welcome among God’s people.
Salvation. Suffering. Welcome.
All these ingredients in the Old Testament have value independently but when “you boil them together” at Christmas time and look at the life of the baby in the manger, the meaning of each ingredient is realised in a new way.
All along they’re been pointing us to someone far greater: Jesus
Yours in exploring the ingredients,