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Christmas Advent 11: Preparing to Feast

Christmas Advent Day 11: Preparing to Feast

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him.                                        And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:14,19-20, ESV)

You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. (Psalm 65:11, ESV

And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:15-17, ESV)

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20, ESV)

Turkey, prime rib, roast beef, ham, pork baby back ribs, mashed potatoes, stuffing, multiple ladles of gravy, dinner rolls, green bean casserole, corn, creamed corn, cranberry sauce, cheese, prosciutto, pepperoni, crackers, jellies, mustard, applesauce, horseradish mayo, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie, Christmas cookies, whipped cream, sparkling cider, etc. This is an almost exhaustive list of food I anticipate feasting on throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is sitting down with family around the Christmas dinner table. Every year, I inevitably eat far too much, then lounge around watching the NBA Christmas Day slate of games with the family, only to fill up on leftovers the very next day. There’s something great about being around loved ones, filling up on good food, and enjoying one another’s company during the holidays. 

As we think of the Christmas feast before us, we can reflect on the feast instituted by the Lord Jesus right before His crucifixion. The Lord Jesus was the Word that became flesh (John 1:14), leaving Heaven to become a man and walk amongst His own creation. He did not come to serve Himself but to serve others (Mark 10:45), and one way in which He did this was by eating with tax collectors and sinners. The religious leaders of the day wouldn’t be caught dead in the presence of the wicked and lowly (at least in their eyes), but Jesus’ first advent was not about coming to rule and to reign, but to serve and to ultimately save the lost. 

In the upper room, mere hours before His death, Jesus instituted what we would call the Lord’s Supper. Sitting around a table with His disciples, the Lord Jesus broke bread and poured out wine to be consumed. The bread represented His body which would be given for the sins of the world, and the wine represented His blood that would be shed at Calvary, thus initiating the new covenant. This remembrance feast has been carried out by the Lord’s people for over 2,000 years, and will continue in the same manner until that coming day when all things are made new and this temporary feast is replaced by an eternity with the Lord. It is my prayer that, as we prepare our hearts and as we feast with family this Christmas season, we remember the work of the Savior as He gave His life for us on the cross. The Baby who was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger would become the Man who would pay the price for our redemption at Calvary.

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