A Little Stock From An Old Hen

October 5, 2008
by Brenda Wood

Psalm 71:9 – Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. (RSV)

That's how both recipes start out: "Take an old hen." (Modern supermarkets label these as "stewing hens".) "Put it in a slow cooker and add 3 coarsely chopped carrots, onions, celery stalks, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 2-3 cloves of garlic, about 1/2 teaspoon each of dried parsley, sage, thyme, and 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon. Add enough water to cover. Put on the lid and simmer till tender (about 5-6 hours)."

The 1960s recipe continues with instructions for chicken stew/dumplings and chicken/rice, with juice left over for chicken stock. The other recipe, from the flashy 2008 magazine, however, says, "Cook till tender. Discard both chicken and vegetables." What?

In less than fifty years we have totally reversed generations of knowledge on how to save money and the world — or what in the modern genre is the "Reduce, reuse, recycle." mantra.

We could get waylaid in the chicken fight, or we can spend our time going after more important salvations. Does a relative, a neighbour, a co-worker need to know about Jesus? Who will tell them? Will they be discarded like that poor old stewing hen? If we don't care, who will?

Why not put a chicken in the pot and invite them to dinner? Next, we'll reduce our fear by praying and leaning on the Holy Spirit. We'll reuse our words by explaining what Jesus did for us. Finally we can recycle the truth — that Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead, and wants to have a personal relationship with us all.

Prayer: Lord, today's waste frustrates us. But Lord, lost souls need to stir us up even more. Will You please give us courage today to start where we can — by telling someone what we know about You? For Jesus' sake, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Brenda Wood <brenda.w@nextcom.ca>
Sandycove Acres, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

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