The Ministry of Momma’s Banana Bread
**(Read to the end for a chance to win a yummy prize!)**
“… will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?” (2 Corinthians 3:8 NIV)
My momma taught me long ago there’s ministry in preparing food for others, and she lived by example.
Not only did she prepare meals for those who were sick or grieving, she ministered to many inside our home—inviting guests to share a meal with our family.
Momma walked by the Spirit, and, because of his presence in her life, she poured forth his power in what she did—serving up his ministry in such simple ways.
And what exactly is the ministry of the Spirit?
We know the Holy Spirit was the gift given after Jesus died, rose again, and ascended into heaven. Just prior to his death, Jesus promised his disciples–
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16 NIV).
Furthermore, Jesus called himself the Bread of life (John 6:35).
We know God’s son came to fulfill the law given Moses. Therefore, just as 2 Corinthians tells us, the ministry of the Spirit is promised to be even more glorious because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
As Christians, we get to be bearers of this glorious Spirit as we minister to others, just as Momma did through the ministry of meals.
When I got married more than three decades ago, Momma gave me a special gift—a 3-ring binder filled with recipes our family loved.
One in particular I still use often. Though I can google banana bread, find one that’s perhaps lower in fat or has a tasty spin, I continue to choose Momma’s.
First, I’ve had others’ banana bread, and it never quite compares.
It matters not if it’s from the finest delicatessen or a down-home cookin’ kinda diner. Mom’s is simply the best! And while she’d tell you, “It wasn’t me who came up with the recipe,” it’s the one she always made–so I attribute it to her, plain and simple!
Also, her recipe is unique in that it produces not one but three loaves of bread.
Batter splattered though it is, I can still read her writing on the backside of the recipe—
- Keep one.
- Freeze one.
- Give one.
Yes. This banana bread recipe allows me to enjoy a loaf, save one for later, and offer one to another, making it special.
And when I make it, I think of the ministry of the Spirit because I think of the Trinity—
- God the Father.
- God the Son.
- God the Spirit.
The loaf my family will enjoy hot from the oven represents God the Father.
It’s a reminder to consider His abiding presence all around, how I see Him everywhere in His creation. I ponder His original recipe for the world, that which He carried out to perfection by creating all the beauty not yet tainted by sin.
The loaf I’ll place in the freezer represents God the Son.
Because of His great love, God sent a savior to our broken world to save it. Part of His redemptive recipe meant Jesus would leave us after the work was finished here. He’s now in heaven, preparing a perfect home where those who’ve chosen to partake in his offer—becoming children of God through salvation—will one day be.
Though we can’t see him now, we know by faith his promise to come back is true, and we live with joy in that knowledge, anticipating his return.
Finally, the loaf I’ll give away represents God the Spirit.
Just as I prayerfully consider who might be the recipient of this gift, Jesus prayed—not only for his disciples prior to his death but also for those who would come in the future.
He then promised the gift of God’s Spirit—that we might walk in the Spirit. Thus, my give-away loaf of bread will not only be food to nourish, hopefully enjoyed, it’s sent with a prayer that the recipient will experience the ministry of the Spirit as he or she partakes of this tangible “bread of life.”
Perhaps the way I envision Momma’s banana bread seems a stretch. All I can say is it’s prepared, then eaten, frozen, or given away with God—yes, the Trinity—in mind.
Having the mind of Christ is the starting place for the ministry of God’s Spirit here on earth.
And that’s a glorious thing indeed!
Banana Bread Recipe
Makes a triple batch—Eat one, freeze one, give one!
**I freeze ripe bananas; to thaw, place in a sink of warm water. The banana will easily come out when squeezed.**
Mash 9 ripe bananas in a bowl
Add and mix in 1 T. plus 1 ½ t. baking soda.
In large bowl, mix in order :
(may be easier with electric mixer)
3 C. sugar
2 ¼ sticks butter, softened
The banana / baking soda mixture
6 C. less 6 T. all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 T. + 1 ½ t. salt
1 T. + 1 ½ t. vanilla
1 C. + 2 T. water
Optional—1 ½ c chopped nuts
Pour batter into 3 greased loaf pans.
Bake 325 degrees for 1 hour (maybe more) until bread tests done with a toothpick inserted in the center.
If tops brown before center tests done, place foil over bread while continuing to bake.
Cool in pans for about 10 min. on racks, then turn out.
Bill and I are preparing to embark on an exciting “bucket list” trip with my parents–to celebrate Momma’s 80th birthday the end of the month.
Once I’m home, I’ll be making her banana bread and drawing a name from those who leave a comment–perhaps telling me your favorite recipe or a sweet memory with your momma. One blessed participant will receive a loaf of banana bread, shipped right to your door (U.S. only!)!
I’ll draw a name on 10/31 from those who comment–which is Momma’s actual birthday! This will make her so very happy too!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for my Momma! Bless her and keep her all her days, until You bring her Home where I know, as happy as she is here, she’ll be her happiest. Yes, face to face with Jesus! Amen!
(For a beautiful song by Andrew Peterson which speaks of our good and glorious God, click HERE!)