Too Many Cooks Spoil The…
by Rector Jim Murphy
We all have a pretty good understanding of the old axiom, “too many cooks spoil the broth.” Indeed, if you have ever tried to operate in a kitchen wherein everyone passing through wants to “tweak” the flavor of whatever may be cooking, it is most often a disaster. With good reason, so as to bring order out of chaos, some one person needs to be in charge of the galley on any particular occasion. Otherwise the dish may be an unappealing, unintelligible mess.
Our almighty Father-God was that “Person in charge,” at the time of creation. He brought order out of the primordial mess so as to make the universe appealing and intelligible. In spite of that fact, humanity seems to be intent on turning His beautiful order into a chaotic mess. We have as a nation, and as the species made in God’s image, consistently marginalized the Chief-Chef of the universe, God Himself, so as to remove Him from the kitchen. No wonder the resulting “broth” is unpalatable.
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesian church, encouraged the faithful to walk with, “…all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” He continued, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:2-6)
A principle point that Paul was trying to get across to his audience was that there need be only one Chef in the kitchen! The Lord God. Alone. By Himself. At our own peril and to the detriment or diminishment of all life, human and otherwise, we exclude Him from the galley. No wonder the broth we make has increasingly rank odor.
With the Lord-Chef of all creation banished from the chief cook’s position there is no one, single person in the kitchen who takes charge. Instead, everyone takes charge or tweaks the broth at their whim. There is no organizing principal or principle to make the “dish” of life appealing and intelligible. God is, in a manner of speaking, locked in the pantry and we won’t let Him out.
Think of any issue you like: war, immigration, climate change, racism, nuclear arms. There is no issue or situation in all creation that does not cry out for or could not be helped by, “maintain(ing) the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (under) one Lord, …one God and Father of all.” We need to rally around the One and only Chef that has perfected the process of bringing order out of chaos, Jesus Christ. Without Him as Lord of the kitchen, we can only produce an eventually poisonous broth.
Originally published in The Highlander, June 2018.