Pastor’s Paragraph for December 13, 2020

Pastor's Paragraph for December 13, 2020

DECEMBER 13, 2020

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My wife determined one year for my birthday that she wanted to bake a special birthday cake—a six-layer salted caramel chocolate cake. A day or so prior to my Big Day, she began the project. It was very labor-intensive. Making the caramel took a lot of time and energy. Once the layers were assembled, the cake had to cool in a refrigerator for an hour before it could be frosted. When it was finished, it had not turned out quite the way my wife had wanted. The caramel tended to disappear into the cake layers. Nonetheless, it was delicious. It had not turned out quite the way it was anticipated, but it was the extra ingredient we call love that made the difference.

During Advent and Christmas, cooking and eating will be a major activity. Judaism and Christianity are religions that have found their most profound expressions around the table. One of the things I most love about this time is Christmas cookies. I especially like the ones that are thin and cut into various holiday shapes and covered with sprinkled sugar. You can buy such cookies in the store, but they never taste the same as those made at home. Of course, the reason is that extra ingredient we call love that makes all the difference.

Our holiday cooking and baking—from latkes to lebkuchen—is a human expression of God’s steadfast, loving care that we celebrate. God’s love doesn’t always come to us in the way we may anticipate. That was certainly true with the birth of Jesus in a stable at Bethlehem. 

You may want to partake in some of the holiday goodies this year with moderation if you want to maintain a healthy weight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t savor the loving care found in each bite. Consider each little treat a foretaste and sign of the great love of God given to us in the most unanticipated of ways.

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Rev. Dr. Brand Eaton

Pastor of Visitation