If Jesus came to dinner, I wonder how He would prefer His turkey and cornbread dressing? Would He like it spicy or mild? With or without cranberry sauce? I find people have different opinions of how to make a good pan of dressing, many of which are formed by childhood memories and family heritage recipes.
Personally, I think my sisters make cornbread dressing that can not be beat or bettered. I have tried to copy their recipes, but it doesn’t seem to come out exactly like theirs did. This was a topic of conversation at a family gathering tonight. My niece stated that her mother (my sister) had cautioned her to saute the onions, celery, and other ingredients in an iron skillet before adding it to the cornbread and broth mixture. Hmmm, my sister had not mentioned the iron skillet to me…maybe that was what was wrong. One of the ingredients that can ruin the taste of stuffing and cause great suffering (heartburn) is sage. If it tuns the cornmeal green, you know you have way too much. When tasting the mixture raw and you wonder if you have enough sage, remember it gets stronger as it is cooked. It’s probably just right.
I can’t think of another food dish people would be more opinionated on or particular about. I wait a whole year to get my “fix” of cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and I want it done right. Stove Top Stuffing will do in a pinch, however, but that is commercial. I want it homemade.
Back to Jesus, He did make comments about salt loosing its strength and needing to be thrown out. “You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 5:13) God did not like His people lukewarm, “Since you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16) Maybe He was talking about the missing element of substance. No commitment, no passion, no sacrifice. I can’t find anywhere it mentioned how He would have liked His cornbread dressing. I suspect if the cook or preparer did all they could to make it a dish of substance, of nourishment, of pleasure to others, He would have been just fine with it. (Maybe a small miracle if it was green in color.)
Churches can be like cornbread dressing. They can have different recipes, different flavors, different ingredients as long as they are prepared with love, inclusion, offer grace and freedom for people to grow in the Lord as intended. Perhaps I should not be so picky.