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The process for making sauerkraut was developed to preserve cabbage when refrigeration was not available. The procedure can be varied somewhat, resulting in some differences in flavour, but there is an unmistakable taste and smell that sets it apart from all other foods.
The author of the article relates how he has always loved sauerkraut and, after acquiring a recipe, decided to make his own.
“I got a good deal on cabbage, bought some pickling spices, salt, onions, real garlic and then I was ready... I cut up the cabbage into narrow strips and...I then cut up the garlic and onions and kept adding a little now and again as I beat the daylights out of the shredded cabbage... until it began to release some of the water content. The idea was to beat much of the fluid out of the cabbage and bruise the cells. The rest of the job of fermenting... would (take) some time…”
The author then goes on to compare the making of sauerkraut with the process of conversion we go through when God calls us. Our calling and response is the beginning of a wonderful process resulting in eternal life, a condition that will never see corruption.
John 6:44 tells us only the Father can draw a person to Himself, and Acts 2:38 reveals the first step is to repent. That process, along with the self knowledge and realisations that it brings humbles us, but can also beat us up a bit -- like the cabbage being prepared for sauerkraut. Psalms 51:1-4 gives a good description of the inner emotions and insights we arrive at during repentance. Job also expressed a similar understanding when he stated he abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes (Job 42:6).
The next step is to be baptized (Acts 2:38) --- fully immersed under water which again parallels the process of making sauerkraut as the battered cabbage is also immersed in its juices. Baptism removes the guilt for our sinful life as Jesus Christ pays the penalty (1 John 1:7) and God’s Holy Spirit, given at baptism, preserves us and allows us to come to God through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:16).
Just as it takes a while for the beaten cabbage to ferment into sauerkraut, it takes time for someone who embraces Christ as his or her personal Saviour to develop into a converted child of God. Also, as sauerkraut differs according to the spices added to it, Christians also differ according to their personalities, backgrounds and experiences with God assigning different responsibilities and gifts according to our abilities.
The lessons learned in loving one another is the real work that goes on inside of God’s sauerkraut barrel. Paul acknowledges “it is God who works in [us] both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13), and 1 Corinthians 13 outlines a description of the final product we are meant to become.
Although we have a large part to play in learning to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, God the Father is the superior “sauerkraut” maker of all time. He is faithful to complete and finish the work He has begun in you and me (Philippians 1:6). To Him alone belongs the glory and honour for the completion of His Creation. God wants us all to be saved and to gain the gift of eternal life.
Virtual Christian Magazine