Guest article by Rev. Ed Amundson, currently serving as 2nd Vice President of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Ed also serves as pastor of High Street Baptist Church in Somerset, Kentucky.
The mere mention of the word “cornbread” gets my attention! I love the smell, taste, texture and touch! I don’t care if it’s white or yellow, sweet or straight-up, baked in a pone or fried into a fritter. I like cornbread! In fact, the only kind of cornbread I don’t like is cornbread that is perfectly round and doesn’t crumble. My wife Shannon’s late Poppa used to say, “If it doesn’t crumble all to pieces, it’s no good.”
My life-verse this year is Luke 15:2–“The Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, ‘This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.’” In John 14:12, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” If I say I am a disciple of Jesus Christ but I’m not doing what Jesus did, who is lying? Me or Jesus?
To be clear, I don’t think Jesus meant that just because He walked upon the water that you and I have to walk an inch above it! But when it comes to Jesus modeling what He obviously wanted His disciples to emulate during New Testament times, I believe His disciples should still be emulating it in our time. Above all else, Jesus came to make disciples, modeled disciple-making, and call on all of His disciples to make disciples.
The disciple-making process begins with sinners. That’s where the cornbread comes in. I don’t know what part of the state of Kentucky you minister in, but down in Somerset cornbread makes friends of sinners! I call it “eating evangelism.” You see where I am going. Again, Luke 15:2 says, “This man (Jesus) receiveth sinners (He doesn’t accept sin, but He makes Himself presently available to sinners) and eateth with them.”
Everyone needs physical food and everyone needs spiritual food. For physical food, cornbread is just about as good as it gets, at least in my opinion. For spiritual food, Jesus called Himself “the bread of life.” Everyone needs Jesus! To introduce Himself to sinners as the bread of life, Jesus often shared a meal with them. Note, He didn’t take food and drop it off with them; He ate the same food, in the same place with the same people He was trying to reach!
Conclusion? Do eating evangelism! Go and break bread with sinners! Bring fresh bread from both the bakery and Jesus Christ. And remember, a pone of cornbread is made up of thousands of granules of ground-up corn kernels, but good cornbread granules don’t stay together long. They break away from the group and get all over people! Catch the drift?