Candy canes, Christmas cookies, hot cocoa, fruitcakes, and families feasting…this season is filled with food and memories of food shared with those we love.
But there is no feasting in the Biblical tales of the Nativity. No cookies or pies, no roast lamb or goose, no hot cocoa or fruitcake. So is it wrong to celebrate Christ’s birth with tasty treats?
I don’t think so. (And not just because I enjoy tasty treats!) We’ve spoken recently about seeing Jesus as the Light of the World, and hearing the Word of God, and feeling the warmth of God’s Love…God speaks to us through our senses, and taste is no different. There is nothing inherently sacred about Christmas cookies. And even foods like pretzels and candy canes, which can be symbolic of prayer or the shepherd’s crook, or other religious symbols, are still ordinary.
But the Bible is not silent about food and feasting. In fact, King David said:
” Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!(Psalm 34:8-9 ESV, via http://www.biblegatewaycom)
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack! “
And Jesus would invite each of us to “taste and see” His goodness as we remember His death and resurrection:
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”1 Corinthians 11:23-25 (ESV) via http://www.biblegateway.com
As we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of our Savior, may we engage all of our senses to recognize His goodness, and may we share the memory of all the good things He has given us– physical and spiritual. May we delight in the tasty treats, but let us also remember that Jesus is also the “Bread of Life,” and the “Living Water.”
Also, in this time of bounty and excess, remember that we are to “taste” and see God’s goodness, and to share it! Christmas gluttony does nothing to remind us of God’s goodness, and may prevent other “hungry souls” from being able to enjoy. And that doesn’t just apply to food. May we be eager to share– food, laughter, hugs, good news, compassion, and the truth. The sweet and the bitter…may we taste and recognize our health, strength, and life in the Goodness of our Great God.
Thank you, Jesus, for being our nourishment. Thank you for precious memories shared around tables–food and fellowship, laughter and love. Thank you for being God With Us in every “sense.”