Scriptures: John 13:1-30 & John 10:22-30
Song of Praise: Doxology
Christian feasting should be a time of uproarious laughter and celebration. The table should be filled with people we love, and the food prepared should be eaten with thanksgiving and joy.
For God's people, feasting is a visual representation of the peace and restoration that Jesus has accomplished.
Remember how His blood sacrifice made peace between rebellious mankind and God; or how Jesus' resurrection began the recreation of the cosmos, reversing the curse of sin?
Feasting is the physical portrayal of a greater reality which is the new life in Christ.
It's the glorious display of our eternal inheritance as adopted children of God.
It is not surprising that even non-Christians want to participate in the act of feasting.
After all, even Judas ate with Jesus and the other disciples.
The human heart knows that something is deeply wrong with the world, more importantly, wrong within itself.
We try to right the wrongs that we see, but our efforts are never enough. The problem of sin is too big for any mere human to mend.
C.S Lewis famously says in his book, 'The Magician's Nephew', “All get what they want; they do not always like it.”
Judas got what He wanted, he experienced signs, he saw miracles, he saw the power and authority Jesus held. Judas had true fellowship with Jesus, he was not held back from His presence. Judas got what He wanted, but he didn't like it.
Judas' heart was broken, but He did not seek for Jesus, even while Jesus sat beside him at the feast.
Feasting, without a proper understanding and theology of feasting, is gluttony.
Judas ate the feast too, but Judas was a glutton; always wanting more.
When he was offered money to narc on Jesus, he didn't even flinch. He leaped at the opportunity.
Judas did not have the substance of the feast, he saw Jesus but he did not love him supremely. Judas sought self-gratification and worldly advancement.
When we are rejoicing in our own feasting, let us remember, Judas ate too. May that ominous thought fence our hearts to pasture in Jesus' promises. In John 10, Jesus says, "but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand."
Judas was not one of God's sheep and now the time had come for Judas to betray Jesus. Judas chose gluttony over fellowship and true feasting. Knowing the sin and gluttony in Judas' heart, and that he wasn't one of God's sheep, Jesus dismissed him from the feast.
Our hearts are prone to wander and prone to gluttony.
Thankfully, Jesus knows His sheep well.
Our seat at the table is secure, but not because we have procured it for ourselves,
it is secure because our Savior has won it for us. He also binds us to Himself so that we do not wander from Him, like Judas did.
Table Talk Questions:
Why did Judas betray Jesus?
feasting without Jesus is actually what sin?
Who has saved us a seat at Jesus' eternal table?
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Meal: Pasta E Fagioli, Italian Loaf, Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes
Pasta E Fagioli
Prep and Cook Time:45-60 minutes
1 pound Ground Beef
1 pound Ground Sausage
1 Onion, finely chopped
3 Carrots, finely chopped
4 stalks Celery, finely chopped
2 cans (28 ounce) Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 can (16 ounce) Red Kidney Beans, drained
1 can (16 ounce) White Kidney Beans, drained
3 cans (10 ounce) Beef Stock
3 teaspoons Oregano
2 teaspoons Black Pepper
5 teaspoons Parsley
1-3 teaspoons Red Pepper flakes (optional)
1 jar (20 ounce) Spaghetti Sauce
1 cup cooked and drained Pasta (your preference)
In a large soup pot, brown the meat, onions, carrots, and celery.
Once fully cooked, add in all remaining ingredients (besides the pasta).
Simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the pasta right before you serve. Otherwise the pasta may absorb too much liquid from the soup.
Prep and Cook Time: About 2 ½ hours
Yields: 1-loaf (French style, about 14 inches)
1 package or 2 ½ teaspoons Active dry Yeast
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 ½ teaspoons Salt
2 cups Warm Water (about 106°)
4 cups Bread Flour (all purpose flour will work, but Bread Flour is preferred for proper texture)
In a mixing bowl, add water and yeast. Allow the yeast to sit in the water, and activate for about 5 minutes. Add additional ingredients. Mix well for 5-8 minutes. The dough may be sticky, but able to be managed. If not, add a little more flour. Knead well. Allow the dough to rise, doubling in size. This should take 40-45 minutes. Knead the dough again and shape into a loaf on a sheet pan. Once again, let the dough rise until doubled and then bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes at 400°. The shape of your loaf will cause the cook time to vary, but your loaf should be a toasty brown color.
Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes
Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes to cool and frost
Serves: about 24
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
3 cups Granulated Sugar
1 ½ cups Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 ½ teaspoon Salt
4 large Eggs
½ cup Sour Cream
1 cup Buttermilk
1 ½ Warm water + ½ Instant Coffee Powder (Coffee Powder is optional)
½ cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 ½ cup (3 Sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces (1 block) Cream Cheese, softened
1 ½ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
⅛ teaspoon Salt
7 cups Powdered Sugar
¼ cups Heavy Cream (more if needed for a better consistency)
Preheat oven to 350° degrees
Whisk together the flour, sugar,cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
Add eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla.
Beat on medium speed until smooth. About 1 minute.
Divide into prepared cupcake pans, they should be ⅔ full.
Place and oven and cook until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes
Remove from oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. About 2-3 minutes.
Carefully add the cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt.
Beat until combined.
With mixing speed on low, gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
When all of the powdered sugar has been added, beat in heavy cream.
Then add more to create a spreadable consistency.
The frosting should be on the thicker side, however it will thicken even more when the cake is refrigerated.
Spread frosting on the cupcakes and decorate as desired. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour before serving.