Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: JAM (02/09/17)
TITLE: The Glory is in the Stewing
By Mike Hill
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With that, I take us to the subject of jam. At its best, jam is this fruity and sweet concoction which one piles on buttered toast for the purpose of prodigious consumption. At least, thats what I do, muse or no muse!
The above describes the edible jams, and without a doubt, I much prefer the edible type. However, let me remind you of some of the inedible types; the aforementioned traffic jam, toe jam, Pearl Jam, jam-packed schedule, and log jam, to mention a few. Appealing would not be the first word that comes to mind.
What does the modern world think jam is? Looking around and observing, you note languid jars of jam sitting on store shelves as well as those ubiquitous plastic packets of something called jam found in restaurants restaurant is their word, not mine.
My mind whirls in a sad spiral thinking about machines, dispassionately picking fruit selected by the experts not because of great taste, but because of their ability to withstand mechanical harvesting. Often, this fruit is grown and harvested on far-off continents. The fruit is callously deposited into containers and shipped to factories for processing.
The poor fruit has not been allowed the enjoyment of being touched by human hands. The result is a shiny jar of colored gel that emerges from a conveyor, then packed and trucked to a warehouse where it might sit for months and months before being again trucked to a store and stacked alongside others on a shelf. If a brand name, that jar sits at eye level. If not a brand, it will sit ingloriously on a lower or higher shelf. For those with low expectations, that jar will suffice.
I expect far more from Gods bounty! Summer is the time you rescue soft fruits, plump and bursting at their seams with luminous perfection. Out of that bounty, you create decadence, a taste of the sun with sweetness that hurts the teeth. The glory is in the stewing. Through that stewing, the wonderful transcends and lovingly transforms into something quite exquisite. Raspberry chocolate jam is there such a reality? Those malcontents of the culinary underground can ruin you for the ordinary.
Gazing upon rows of homemade jam could cause one to think about how biblical jam might be at least the edible kind. You till the ground, prune and care for the growing plant and harvest the fruit. You take something that is already a miraculous gift from God and arguably add value to it. To the fruit, you add other good things, namely sweeteners, maybe some spices. After mixing, this mixture gets all stewed up and thickened, concentrating the flavors to sublime perfection. The result of this amalgamation is pure awesomeness Jam!
God gifts us to Jesus. Imperfect, we are not always a wonderful gift. We are, however, made wonderfully in his image. Jesus takes us and mixes in some love and grace (thats the sweetening part of the recipe), adds a little obedience and a few universal commands (thats the spices), stirs this all up and something astonishing emerges saved believers! The glory is once again in the stewing. Jesus takes the imperfect and transcends our disobedience and worldliness and gloriously transforms our marrow into something God can tolerate, embrace and live with forever!
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