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Complete My Joy

There are a lot of things tacos can do, but they can’t complete my joy. Only YOU can do that!

The past Sunday, I preached this sermon and our church celebrated Pastor Appreciation Day. In addition to the delicious cookies, brownies, and other treats our ladies had prepared, I made up a batch of my Caribbean Jerk chicken for tacos. I love cooking and am always eager for an opportunity to share my recipes with others. As much as our church appreciates me, I appreciate them right back! And they definitely appreciated my tacos.

But I have a confession to make.

Tacos Do NOT Complete My Joy

Complete my joy with a taco!

I’m sure you’re in shock to read this, but it’s true. As much as I love tacos, they do not make my joy complete. The truth is, they’re not even close!

“But Bret,” you say, “you’ve shown us just how amazing tacos can be! Your tacos are delicious!” You’re right; I won’t deny it, tacos are amazing. If you were with us in person Sunday morning, you got to try my Caribbean Jerk Chicken Tacos, which one of our members called (and I quote), “Best tacos I ever had!!!” Yes! He used three exclamation points! His reaction to my tacos made me plenty happy, but alas, even that did not complete my joy.

But Only One Thing Can Complete Our Joy

The one thing that completes our joy is not tacos. It’s not even burritos! Instead, we find our joy where Paul found his. In Philippians 2:2, Paul writes, “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Our joy is only completed when we love each other with the love Jesus has shown us all.

I love the idea that we get to complete each other’s joy! The life and love we share draw us all closer to Jesus.

And sometimes there are tacos too!

So, How Did it Go?

I’ve preached this text many times. Normally, my focus is completely on the Christ Hymn of verses 6-11. How can it not be? Our hearts are drawn to the beautiful image of Jesus’ humility and exhalation. But this time, with the series’ focus on “those we hold in our hearts,” I couldn’t help but concentrate on the reason Paul places the Christ Hymn hereā€”to call the Philippians to love each other like Jesus.

The sermon went well and the crowd responded well. During our fellowship time afterward, one gentleman told me how much the statement “When our opinions become tests of who’s in and out, we make idols of our opinions” meant to him.

And the fellowship time after worship was wonderful! COVID has changed the way we do fellowship, but the time we spend together is so vital to the unity and love we have in our community.

And it helps if there’s a taco in front of our faces!

My Caribbean Jerk Sauce

If you’re curious (or hungry) here’s the Caribbean Jerk Sauce recipe I use. It’s not original to me, I got it from Sam the Cooking Guy (as I do many of my recipes).

Rough Chop:

  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 2 Habanero peppers (no need to remove the seeds or membrane)

Add:

  • 5 big cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • Allspice – 2 tsp
  • Ground ginger – 2 tsp
  • Dried thyme – 2 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1 tsp
  • 1 Tablespoon – Kosher Salt
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup of neutral oil (avocado works great)

Mix it all in a blender or food processor. Get it good and broken down!

No need to marinate for long. A little goes a long way. Cover the chicken/shrimp/whatever in the sauce. Save some to brush on while grilling (especially for chicken).

Taco Topping:

The jerk sauce works great for chicken and rice (or any other dish), but if you’re making tacos, take 1/3 of the marinade, 1/3 of mayo, and 1/3 sour cream and mix together for a great topping/dipping sauce.