There is a very cute advertisement on TV at the moment. I think it’s a Sainsbury’s ad. It features a father and son making a pie. It begins with each of them sprinkling the table with flour. Everything the father does from rolling out the pastry to tapping fingers on the counter, the son copies. The father places the rolled out pastry on top of the pie and carefully cuts away the excess, and the son completes the pie by adding the trimmings on top. The pie looks delicious as it comes out of the oven.
I don’t remember ever being in the kitchen and being given a bit of pastry to roll out while mum made the real thing, but that doesn’t mean to say it didn’t happen. When I think of learning how to cook I think of Domestic Science in school. Watching a demonstration and then doing it myself rarely led to any kind of success – except for bread. It is the one thing I ever made that turned out better than the teacher’s.
I suppose that I like the advert because it is a father and a son rather than a mother and daughter. It is all too safe to present the predictable images to sell products.
The son does what he sees the father doing – I’m sure there is a scripture somewhere that says just that. In the advert the father and son work together to make the pie. In the Kingdom the Father and the Son work together, with the Holy Spirit, to make something better than a pie!
Every member of God’s family is encouraged to join in – to work with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit to build the kingdom.
“…the work of My hands, for the display of My splendour.” Isaiah 60:21b
The title of the chapter in Isaiah is “The Glory of Zion”.
How much of the work is the “work of My (God’s) hands”? How much of it is my work and not really God’s work through me? In the advert, the pie was really the father’s work – not much was the son’s. Did the father secretly scrape off the trimmings the son had put there, because the pastry, after the son had played for it a while, was just a little bit too grimy?
When I think of myself as a work of God’s hands – fearfully and wonderfully made – I begin to wonder sometimes if I haven’t really messed up Gods’ work, “myself”, with the grimy trimmings that I try to add. I begin to wonder whether God is able to really display His splendour through my life.
I don’t think the boy’s pastry trimmings were grimy because he had watched what his father was doing and copied him. He knew that he wasn’t just playing with pastry but making a pie. He watched his father’s every move - not just what the hands were doing, but the expression on his father’s face – the encouragement and approval. The father so desired for the son to succeed.
I will not spoil what God is doing in my life if, working with Him, I watch my Father’s every move, if I seek by faith to see the expression on His face and I am convinced He wants me to succeed.
I need to stop playing with the pastry.