The definition according to Wikipedia – “A casserole, from the French word for “saucepan”, is a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. The word is also used for the food cooked and served in such a vessel, with the cookware itself called a casserole dish or casserole pan.”

I don’t know about where you live, but in the area that I live (the West half of Michigan) casseroles are very common dinner choices.   There are a multitude of different ways that one could make a casserole – but the important things are:

  • They are typically relatively easy.   You “dump” all of the ingredients together and cook it.
  • They come in one dish – no multiple pans, just one simple pan and it’s complete.

A while back, the Elders at my church were talking about the needs of the congregation and how it’s very easy to meet the needs that  you can see, but the needs that aren’t as visible are significantly harder to address – even when we know about them.

One of my fellow elders summed it up with a phrase that has stuck with me,  “If we can fix it with a casserole, we’re great.   Otherwise, not so much.”

If the church can meet someone’s need by a nice neat and well organized simple approach, great.   The church does that well.

But if it’s not simple.

If it’s not clean and neat and make a big mess.

If it’s hard to see.

If it’s hard to understand.

Then we (the church) don’t do so well at meeting those needs and being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Rather than being the nice simple neat and well organized main dish, we need to be willing to be the ones out weeding the garden where the tomatoes are growing.  

Or the ones willing to do the dishes while everyone else is sitting around visiting.

Or chopping up the onions in spite of our tears.

Lord, help us be willing to address the difficult situations, the situations we can’t solve easily and the quiet situations with grace, sensitivity and compassion – but also with persistence.  Amen

Tom