Thursday, 13 June 2013

Why You Should Bake Cookies… Erm, Build Community

This guest post was written by Rachelle Rea.

About fifteen young women piled into the small apartment that day and split into two groups. Most chose the living room as headquarters and plopped down on the couches and the floor. Their job? Writing Bible verses and encouraging notes on slips of paper to go in the bags of goodies we were making. A few of the girls—including myself—chose the kitchen as base. Our first order of business? Searching the cabinets for pans and bowls.

I love to bake, so when I learned that my Bible study group was meeting to bake cookies for a campus event, I knew I wanted to go. I thought I was going to bake. What I did was laugh, smile, joke around, and talk about Jesus.

You see, somewhere along the line of living this set-apart life I equated separate with loner. Big mistake.

Our Bible study met on Wednesday afternoons last semester in one of the dorm lounges, and Wednesday afternoons quickly cemented itself as my favorite time of the week. Those times of prayer, fellowship, and digging into the Word right alongside young women my age meant a lot to me—those are memories I treasure. The icing on the cake was that the girls who sat around me were just as in love with Jesus as I.

As the scent of cookies baking permeated the small apartment, music wafted from the living room. Bags that would soon hold cookies were beginning to take shape. The cookies themselves were starting to take shape, too, beneath several sets of doughy fingers.

After pulling a green bowl from one of the cavernous cabinets, I mixed one batch of cookie dough and rolled cookie circles until my wrists were sore. But I hardly noticed because we were laughing and talking and having a good time swapping stories of how our semesters were going.

Sister, don’t make my mistake. Don’t trade in the fellowship and think holy means lonely.

I learned last semester that spring can be a time of renewing in so many more ways than one. I saw God’s love play out every Wednesday afternoon and in our cookie-baking excursion. I see His love even now, because those friendships have endured.

If there’s one thing I could tell you today it would be this: make time for the cookie-baking, erm, community building. Find those kindred spirits and rub shoulders with them in a squeezed-tight kitchen. You won’t regret it.

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