Notes from Jan

Thank God for Potluck

January 31, 2017

Growing up Baptist prepared me for a lifetime membership in the Covered Dish Club. Baked beans and I were so ready for last night’s church supper and annual meeting. Who doesn’t love potluck, undercover feasts.

Which got me thinking about The Church as potluck. One definition calls potluck,”A situation in which one must take a chance that whatever is available will prove to be good or acceptable.”

Risky, like marriage, parenthood,  friendship, Church,  welcoming immigrants and refugees.

Love’s chancy.

No one knows that more than God.

It was Jesus who ran,  walked, on a platform that welcomed strangers, outsiders.  He confused, disappointed, enraged religious and political elite who felt tricked and shamed when he showed up as Lord of  the lame, losers, and leftovers. What king rides a donkey, proclaiming “good news to the poor”!

Today’s newspaper delivered hope when I read of Christian leaders and organizations opposing Trump’s recent decrees limiting immigration. If any of us cheered  the idea of putting Christians at the head of the line to enter this country,  we understood  neither our constitution nor the heart of God.

Martin Niemoller, German Protestant minister, spoke out against Hitler and ended up in prison. Niemoller’s remembered for variations on this quote,

First they came for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak.

Neither The Church nor this Country will survive without potluck, Love that’s willing to take a chance “that what(who)ever is available will prove to be good or acceptable.”









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  • Reply Rita Smith Dove January 31, 2017 at 12:45 am

    Awesome, jan, Awesome!

  • Reply Dan & Kathy Russ January 31, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Your beautiful and wise words about our Savior as Lord of the potluck reminds me of when I first realized that I am not commanded to like people but to love them, because usually when I think or say “I like you!” I really mean “I am like you!” As Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote,
    Glory be to God for dappled things –
    For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
    Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
    Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

    All things counter, original, spare, strange;
    Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
    He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
    Praise him.

    All His creation is potluck!

    Gracias, Jan

  • Reply Barry Jan Loy January 31, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Your posts are never “potluck”. I always know that I will find something good and acceptable in them.

    Sorry I couldn’t visit with you, June, and Donna recently. Say hi to Good Harbor for me.

    Barry Jan

  • Reply Alice M Shea January 31, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Lord have Mercy on us for our selfishness!
    Please God help us to turn our hearts to become more like You!

  • Reply Maggie Rowe January 31, 2017 at 2:22 am

    I have always loved potluck, whether it’s on the table in my Baptist church or around the table in an immigrant neighborhood. God’s priorities for the poor and the persecuted must come before our “national interest. ” Thank you for these wise words, Jan.

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