Scriptures: Hosea 2:16-23 & Revelation 19:6-9
Song of Praise: Doxology
The Rule of King Jesus ushered creation into a new and glorious dawn.
The curses placed on our first parents, Adam and Eve, have begun to be reversed.
Death has been defeated by the Creator of life, Jesus is ruling and expanding His Kingdom, and the entire cosmos have been reoriented.
Though creation isn't fully restored just yet, Jesus' restoration project is in full swing.
The Earth itself is being transformed and renewed, just like it's inhabitants.
In fact, when this restoration is finished, new creation will be even more grand than the garden of Eden was.
God created the garden, and it was 'good'.
Adam was instructed to cultivate it and make all the Earth look as "good" as Eden.
As we know, he failed before that task was completed.
New Creation will be the eschatological (final state) consummation of Adam's failed cultivation task.
Though many enemies of God have already been defeated, there is one yet to be permanently vanquished...death.
Although it persists upon God's people, death knows that it's time is running short.
The resurrection of Christ was the beginning of death's defeat.
The resurrection is proof-positive that Jesus actually did accomplish all that the Father set before Him. His resurrection appeased Justice, spun back the hands of mayhem, and condemned death to death.
One day, death will not claim any more victims. As Christ was raised bodily, so too all those whom He redeemed will be.
The day that King Jesus returns to His restored Earth, is the day that Death, the very last enemy of God, will be crushed.
In C.S Lewis' great mythical retelling, 'Till We Have Faces', the forlorn princess, Psyche, is sacrificed by her own people in order to appease the fierce and terrible mountain god. Full of dread, she is carried up to the haunted mountain, where she is bound to a tree to become a sacrifice.
Being quite certain of her demise, she is surprised to learn that the mountain god is not what she expected.
Psyche plummets into a deep, dreamlike romance with him, and is crushed when he sends her back to live once again with her traitorous people.
Upon her surprising return, she explains to her people what happened upon the mountain; delivering to them some of the most relatable literary utterances:
"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."
Like Psyche, our hearts have been helplessly united to the great God that we once feared.
Having learned of His immense goodness, we long to live with Him forever in His kingdom.
But...we have been sent back to rule over the traitors.
Eventually, Psyche does go back to the mountain, and one day we too will be united with our God.
Upon our King's return, in perfect rest, we will sit down, and feast at His prepared table.
It will feel "not like going, but like going back", to the place where we "ought to have been born".
The sweetest of feasting and fellowship is sure to be consumed but not exhausted; the purest form of unbridled satisfaction will be known just as He (Jesus) is fully known.
We, the bride that Christ died to redeem, will be radiantly dressed in the finest garments of good works, prepared for us by the Holy Spirit.
The Father will welcome us, saying, " Well done good and faithful one".
Our hearts cannot begin to fathom the deep wells of joy contained in the marriage feast.
Our preparations and feasts will never compare to the richness of what is to come, but may our longing for them spur us on towards greater representations in our own earthly feasts.
Table Talk Topics:
Who is the Bride of Christ?
What should earthly feasting build in us?
Will God restore everything back to how it was created to be? or better?
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.
Lo, the table spread before us
With the bread and with the wine:
Lo, the Savior waiting for us,
Bidding us come and dine.
“Come and dine,” the Lord is calling,
“Sup with Me and I with thee”
He’s prepared for us this table—
Let us feast abundantly.
We are feasting with our Savior,
He with us and we with Him;
Feast of feasts that ne’er will end!
Eating, drinking with Thyself, Lord,
We are wholly satisfied. The taste we of that glorious banquet
Thou wilt share with us, Thy Bride.
- Author Unknown
Meal: Kentucky Bourbon & Brown Sugar Ham,
Nana's pan fried Parsnips,
Garlic Butter & Herb Mashed Potatoes,
Holiday Beans, Corn Casserole,
Bacon Green Beans, Ham Gravy,
Potato Rolls, Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake, & Blueberry Pie
Kentucky Bourbon & Maple Brown Sugar Ham
Cook and Prep Time: 15 minutes for the glaze + cooking instructions on the ham.
Serves: A good rule of thumb of thumb for meat portioning is to prepare about ½ - ¾ pound of meat per guest. This may seem like a lot, but this rule also factors in the weight of "non-edible" fat and bone.
10-15 lb Preferred Ham (bone in is my favorite)
1 Cup Kentucky Bourbon
½ cup real Maple Syrup
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 can white Soda-Sprite,7up ect. (Mt Dew is my Favorite)
¼ teaspoon ground Cloves
Place Ham in a baking pan.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the syrup, brown sugar, cloves and bourbon.
Mix well and pour over Ham.
Add the white soda to the bottom of the baking pan, so that the ham is bathing in it.
Bake according to the packaging on the Ham.
Reserve ham drippings to make gravy with.
Nana's panfried Parsnips
Prep and Cook Time:30-45 minutes
1 stick butter
Peel and thinly slice parsnips. Rinse and set to the side.
In a medium skillet or pan, on medium heat, melt stick of butter in the pan.
Add in the parsnips and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic.
Fry until the parsnips become caramelized and are brown and crispy.
Garlic Butter & Herb Mashed Potatoes
Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes
3 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 stick Butter
1 ½ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon dried Parsley Flakes
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary
¼-½ cup Milk or Cream (depending on your texture preference)
Peel, boil and mash your potatoes.
add in the remaining ingredients.
Mix well. Taste to see if you need to add additional spices. Adjust as you see fit.
Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour * Can be prepared the day before and rewarmed.
1 pound Hamburger
1 Large Onion finely chopped
½ pound Bacon chopped into 1 inch pieces (save the other half for your bacon green beans)
2 cans Black Beans (drained)
2 cans Red Kidney Beans (drained)
2 cans Navy (northern) beans (drained)
½ Cup Ketchup
½ Cup Molasses
¼ Cup yellow Mustard
¾ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 teaspoon black Pepper
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
In a large pot, fry together hamburger, bacon, and onion. Once fully cooked add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and cook on low-medium heat. Allow the beans to simmer for at least 30 minutes. Taste and add additional spices if needed or preferred.
(these beans freeze well, and will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months)
Bacon Green Beans
Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes
½ pound Bacon (save the other half for the holiday beans)
4-5 cups of Green Beans (fresh, frozen, or canned)
1 stick Butter
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 small Onion finely chopped
In a large skillet, on medium heat, combine and cook bacon and onions, partially cooking them, about midway. They will cook further with the remaining ingredients.
Add butter, green beans and spices.
Cook until the green beans begin to brown and caramelize.
Prep and Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
3-4 cups Ham drippings
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
¼ cup warm Water
½ - 1 teaspoon salt
In a mug, combine the cornstarch and water. set to the side.
In a medium sized saucepan, add in the ham drippings, bring to a boil.
Once the ham drippings are boiling, slowly mix in the cornstarch/water mixture, adding only a little bit at a time, until you reach the desired thickness. The cloudy appearance will fade as the cornstarch dissolves and thickens.
If you like a thicker gravy, add more cornstarch and water.
Taste before you add additional salt.
The ham drippings may already be plenty salty. Each ham varies.
Oma's Potato Rolls
Prep and Cook Time: about 2 ½ hours
Serves: 1 ½ dozen
Yields 2-2 ½ Dozen Rolls
2 cups of diced Potatoes (boiled until soft and tender, save 1 cup of the starchy cooking water)
1 teaspoon Honey
1 Package or 2 ½ teaspoons active dry Yeast
4 Tablespoons Butter
4 ¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
1 ¾ teaspoon Salt
in a medium sauce pan, boil potatoes until tender and soft. RESERVE 1 cup of the starchy cooking water, allow the water to cool to 106°F, once cool, add your yeast to the water.
Mash your potatoes and add to a mixing bowl.
Add in your yeast/water and flour.
Do not add the honey directly on the yeast, it may kill it.
Add in the remaining ingredients and mix/knead well, about 5 minutes.
The dough may be slightly sticky.
Spray a medium glass or ceramic bowl with non-stick cooking spray and add your dough. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and allow for the dough to rise until it doubles in size (about an hour).
Once dough has risen, remove it from the bowl, punch it down and knead the air out. Divide your dough into golf ball-sized rolls. Roll the dough into smooth balls and place them onto prepared sheet pans (sprayed).
Allow them to rise for about 40-45 minutes,
Sprinkle the tops of the risen rolls with some extra flour.
Bake at 350°F.
This recipe should yield about 2 ½ dozen rolls.
Peanut Buttercup Cheesecake
Prep and Cook Time:1 ½ hours + 2 hours to cool *can be made the day before
Yields: 1 Cheesecake
You will need one Springform pan
1 box (3 sleeves) Graham Crackers
1 Stick Butter (melted)
1 pinch Salt
4 Tablespoons Sugar
Crush 2 cups of Graham Crackers into fine crumbs, add to a medium sized bowl, add in the melted butter Sugar and salt.
Pour the crumb mixture into the springform pan and form a crust along the bottom and 1-inch up the side of the pan. Set to the side.
4 (8 ounce) Cream Cheese (softened)
1 ½ cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
¼ cup Whipping Cream
2 ½ cups Chopped Peanut Butter Cups
In a mixing bowl, whip together cream cheese, whipping cream, peanut butter, Brown sugar and vanilla. Scrape the sides of your mixing bowl.
Add in the eggs, one at a time. Mix well. Slowly mix in the chopped peanut butter cups. Pour into your crust and bake at 350 for about an hour. Cool completely before serving. Store covered and in the fridge.
Blueberry Crumb Pie
Prep and Cook Time: about 2 hours *can be made the day before
Yields 1 pie
4 cups Blueberries
¾ cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
3 Tablespoons Water
1⁄2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon Nutmeg
In a medium sized sauce pan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. The mixture should be slightly thickened and sticking to the back of a spoon.
Set to the side while you prepare the crust.
3 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
½ cup Ice Water
1 stick COLD Water
½ cup Vegetable Shortening
Add the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Cut in the Butter and shortening, making pea-sized crumbs with the butter. Small butter chunks are a good thing!
Slowly add in COLD water, only enough to make a rollable dough.
Do not over mix. Separate your dough into two equal balls. One for this pie, and one can go into your freezer for later use. Or, you can use it as a top crust or lattice if you prefer.
Place in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes before you roll it for your pie.
When you are ready to make your pie, lightly flour your counter and roll out your dough into a circle.
Transfer to a pie pan, and form your pie crust.
Pour in the filling, and bake at 350 for about 45-60 minutes. Until the crust in brown, and the bottom is fully cooked.
Serve hot or cold.
(remaining pie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months)
1 cup of Flour
1 ¼ cups Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 stick melted Butter
½ teaspoon Cinn