The Red-Banded Sugar Bowl by Carolyn Hayward Tucker

Carolyn Tucker. Submitted photo.

Keys to the Kingdom


My brother now has possession of Grandma Jennings’ Bavarian sugar bowl which has an intricate red band imprinted on a cream-colored background. During World War II, my Dad loved three women: his wife, his mother, and his mother-in-law. While fighting on the front lines in Germany he managed to have three beautiful sets of dishes shipped to the women he adored. We can only imagine the 75 years of life and love that sugar bowl has witnessed — if it could only talk!

In the Old Testament, a woman named Rahab had possession of a red rope. Before the two Israelite spies arrived at her home, she had placed her faith in the one true God. When the king of Jericho sent word for her to bring the spies to him, she hid them and sent the king’s men on a wild goose chase. Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them.

The following is Rahab’s declaration of faith and trust in the living God: “I know the Lord has given you this land. We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror. For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed. No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.”

Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families” (Joshua 2:9-13 NLT). The Israelite spies gave this promise: “We will be bound by the oath we have taken only if you follow these instructions. When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members — your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives — must be here inside the house“ (Joshua 2:17-18 NLT). In the fall of Jericho, the Lord did great wonders. Rahab and all her family were brought out in safety and lived among the Israelites. Never forget that one person can make a big difference…and that one is you.

Rahab’s red rope (and the promises kept by both parties) saved her and her family. The red blood of Jesus saves all who will declare their faith in Him. “At one time you were far away from God. But now you belong to Christ Jesus. He spilled His blood for you. That has brought you near to God” (Ephesians 2:13 NIRV). Our heavenly Father gave His only begotten Son to shed His red blood so that all could believe and have everlasting life. In addition, all believers can grab onto the red rope of Jesus and have an abundant life while living in the here and now. You can’t exhaust or imagine all the ways God extends His love, mercy, and favor to those who ask for it. Romans 5:10 NLT: “For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son.”

The Key: When you reach for the sugar bowl, thank God you’re in His sweet family through the blood of Jesus.

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