As we wrap up this week’s Christmas Trimmings series, I am drawn to one of my favorite parts of celebrating Christmas… the Christmas meal! Yum!!! Who doesn’t love a great Christmas meal?
Now meals celebrating Christmas are different all around the world. There are foods I might never choose to eat which are Christmas delicacies in other places. And then there are foods from other places I feel we absolutely must incorporate into our Christmas meal.
The foods people use to celebrate Christmas are almost as unique as the meal itself. What is it about “the Christmas meal” that is so different? It’s not like I never eat turkey or ham at any other time of the year. I’m not passing up the potato salad at the Fourth of July. And bread… oh, wonderful bread… I eat it with great regularity throughout the year in many forms. Plus… since confession is good for the soul… I personally feel like a meal is not complete without dessert… so I eat cookies and cake and pie on multiple occasions yearlong.
What makes this meal so different? Maybe it’s that we’ve gotten together with family or friends whom we rarely get to see other than via FaceTime. Maybe it’s the decorations and the way in which the table is set… whether you pull out the fine china or use the really fancy paper plates.
My personal opinion is that is the over- abundance of food at the meal that makes it stand out. It is the bookend of massive meals on the other side of this massive holiday season from Thanksgiving. Abundance.
I cannot remember a Christmas meal in my lifetime where there was not waaaayyyy more food than necessary for the number of people present. Leftovers are accidental at this meal. They are planned. Almost like Jesus feeding the 5,000 men plus women and children and still having twelve baskets of leftover bread.
I mean, those who know me know that I LOVE desserts. Over the years, I’ve had my favorites… Mom’s peanut butter bars… Karen’s chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookies… Grandpa Chapin’s divinity… Mama’s (Angela’s mom) peanut butter balls and millionaires. Oh, the plethora of pecan pies, chocolate pies, fruit cobblers of almost any kind… and cakes, ahhhhh, cakes.
But you know there is an abundance of food when I can’t get at least a small sample of every dessert and must wait until my food has digested so that I can go back and get some more. Am I scared that there won’t be any left when I go back? No way! There is an abundance.
And that’s what the Christmas meals reminds me… that the God who lavishly and generously gave His Son to win my heart and soul for eternity is a God of abundance. His grace never runs out. His love never runs out. His provision never runs out. In fact, Paul reminds us in Ephesians 3:20 that God is able to do, “…infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
He is the God of more than enough. The God of abundance. I can’t out-ask Him. He has prepared more than enough for me to get all I need… all I want… and still have more for later. That’s reassuring. That’s comforting. He will never run out. I will always have enough because of Him.
So, as you (over)fill your plate this Christmas with the delicious delicacies which delight your tastebuds as part of celebrating the God Who gave His only Son for you, remember that He still has more waiting for you… and He will never run out!
DISCLAIMER: I am totally aware that many in our country (and around the world) do not get to celebrate a ginormous meal like this. I understand the significant number who are in poverty, or are homeless, or live in oppressive countries which leave them with little.
These situations hurt my heart… they make me wish for a day when all of God’s people would do what we can to make sure everyone gets to celebrate Christ’s coming with a meal that fills and more than satisfies them. And not just one day per year.
What could you and I do about that if we got serious?