Christmas Dinner

Jesus was always inviting Himself over for a meal – and what a dinner guest He was!  You never knew quite what to expect when He stepped through the door.  You might witness a miracle between the first course and the second.  You might hear, for better or worse, surprising truths about yourself.  You might find yourself serving a ragtag cast of characters from the other side of the tracks.  One time Jesus even provided the wine – 180 gallons of it!

One of His last acts before He died was to break bread with the people closest to Him.  Today we remember His death on the cross for our sins when we drink the cup and eat the bread of Communion.

Knowing all this about Jesus, we shouldn't be surprised that the first celebration of His birth was a feast – specifically, the Feast of the Nativity, which originated in Rome during the fourth century.  Although there are no records of such a feast in the early church, and you won't find it in the Bible, it isn't out of character with either.  The Old Testament brims with feasts designed by God and given to His people.  And as we've seen in the New Testament accounts of His life, Jesus loved to eat with His friends.  (Sounds like a pretty good endorsement for feasting to me.)

The last book of the Bible, Revelation, tells us that a great banquet will be one of the first things we experience together in heaven.  As one angel put it, "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:9).  Do you know how to get invited to that party?  Jesus said, "Look!  Here I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends" (Revelations 3:20).

As you sit at the table for Christmas dinner and thank God for the food, remember Jesus.  If you've never invited Him to step through the door and be Lord of your life, what better time to do it than at Christmas?  It's His birthday, and – from then on and forever – it will be yours, too.

A Birthday Invitation

If you feel like your child is ready, why don't you ask if he would like to say this prayer and ask Jesus to come inside and be Lord of his heart and life?

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for coming to earth as a baby that very first Christmas.  I believe You are the Son of God and that You came to die on the cross for my sins.  I want to receive the gift of forgiveness that you have bought for me.  Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior.  Thank you for loving me so much.  I love You, too.  Amen.

Christmas Wassail

I can't imagine that Wassail was not served at the very first Feast of the Nativity.  Even if it wasn't, we can still serve it at our Christmas feast.

1 gallon apple cider
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
One 6-ounce can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
One 6-ounce can of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

Combine 2 cups of the apple cider with the allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the remaining cider, brown sugar, lemonade concentrate, and orange concentrate to the hot mixture, stirring well to dissolve the sugar; heat until very hot (do not boil).  Makes 4 ½ quarts.

Teachable Moments