A Recipe for A True Taste of Christmas
By Jane Tawel
December 11, 2018
First, get poor. Literally. Wonder not only where your next meal will come, but be shunned by any group of so -called safety net groups. Be outcast by your religious institution for being sinful and “unclean”; and be considered an illegal alien by the country you have grown up in.
Next make sure if you are not yourself currently in labor with an expected child, that you are the spouse of a very pregnant woman. Decide to relocate with no job, no insurance and with no health care, no doctor, and no Douala around. If you can’t manage being pregnant or the spouse of someone pregnant by Christmas time, then, make sure you are really, really, really sick with something that could easily kill you and that makes it hard to walk or talk or even focus on anything other than how you feel physically which is in pain, afraid, and, well, in pain and afraid. Oh, and make sure you are of an ethnic religion that the entire world is prejudiced against. Like Jewish, maybe? Then…
Take a 90 mile (157 kilometer) trip by foot. In worn sandals or barefoot. On dusty dangerous dirt roads. Make sure as you travel (remember, very pregnant or very ill) that you are dependent on the kindness of strangers for the food and water you need on the 90 mile trip. Make sure that even if you arrive after about a week’s walk, that you have no where to stay and that you know no one when you arrive at your final destination. If you do arrive that is, considering the violence in the country in which you are currently living, where not only criminals and terrorists abound but even those who are meant to uphold the law have become lawless. I mean the police / soldiers, governors / senators, and priests / rabbis. Those lawless ones who can demand any thing of you or from you since you have no rights.
Since you are treated like an animal, decide to have your baby in a sheep shed. At least it is out of the elements and will be safe from the wild dogs. If you can not manage a pregnancy in a sheep shed, this Christmas, and have opted to merely be super, super sick to recreate the true experience, then simply leave your medications behind and after your 90 mile walk, find a little cage at the southern border of your country and snuggle in with all the other outcast, unwanted folks. This will help you feel like the parents of the Christ child felt on the day we celebrate his birth.
And as you contemplate this recipe for preparation of a true Christmas, remember that the angels, and kings , the God as Father and miracles –they are all part of a story that people told long after the Jewish parents, Mary and Joseph had to tell Jesus about the night He was born. That night, Mary and Joseph were just happy to be alive and that their kid was alive.
And as you prepare your recipes for a true Christmas, remember that Jesus loved being alive, just like we do. And that He didn’t want to die, just like we don’t. But that He believed that only in His death, could He have eternal life with God, just like we can.
So celebrate Christmas and celebrate the fact that today, you are alive. And being alive can feel like nothing or it can be every thing. And being alive means you can make choices today.
The recipe for my Christmas celebration should be the same as every day. Will I choose the ingredients for my life that the Jewish Messiah did? That the Jewish parents of Jesus did? Will I choose to walk the long, lonely, painful road not just to Bethlehem but to Calvary? Will I find joy in a sheep manger as easily as I find joy around a hearth with my well-fed and well-cared for loved ones? Will I be willing to care little for my own comforts in comparison to my great thirst to know and love Jehovah, the Lord? Will I look at others as my brothers and sisters on a planet we have mutually wrecked while mutually mutilating each other, body and soul, and try to heal rather than grab more before it all runs out? Will I believe that there is a future day of celebration when Jesus is the ruler of all humans – a ruler who serves as we serve Him? An eternal dawn where the planet is no longer just one big sheep shed and that the recipe for eternal peace, love and joy will be finally re-made by The Chef who created it in the first place?
Will I who claim the road to Calvary, take The Christ’s first baby steps on the road to Bethlehem?
What meals and snack ideas do I have for eating and making for others while traveling Life’s road? Jesus’ idea for a good meal on the road, was His body and blood. Messiah knew in His heart the truth of this Hebrew recipe: “Oh, taste and see that The Lord is good! Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)
A Recipe/ Psalm for a Judeo-Christian Holiday
By Jane Tawel
First fill my cup with thirst.
May my hands kneed love in need of You.
Spice up my heart with passion for Your Word.
And let the Oil of my faith in Your Covenant
Never run out.
May a small teaspoon be the only portion
Of my earthly gain
So that my eternal fill will
Be only eaten in Your Forever
Feast of Body and Blood.
May I never turn away from my table
strangers and sojourners; and
Just as You have always fed
Both the good and bad
With sunshine and rain;
May I not stand in judgement
Over the meals that others make;
But instead look to the small
Morsel of my own small self.
May no matter how many times
I eat of You;
Or how much I am served of
Your words and Your Word,
May I hunger only more;
May I thirst only more deeply
For Your Approval,
For Your Love.
May I receive at Your mighty hands–Hands
That created all the ingredients and recipes for all living things—
A wee little Christmas star—
One star out of the billions of stars that rate the universal Creations—
May I get a little half star,
rating my life today
As worthy of You.
Please, Oh Lord of All,
God of the Ages,
I humbly offer today,
A morsel – an offering of my life,
Of my small snack of a soul.
May you multiply the ingredients of my life today,
As You always do increase
Our silly little
fish and loaves.