The Art of Feasting - The Prepared Table: Day 1

Song of Praise: Doxology

Scriptures: Genesis 1:28 & John 14:3

Devotional

God has blessed His covenant people with the authority and the great privilege of feasting. Everyone knows that food is necessary to sustain our bodies; food provides us nourishment and needed energy. However, God, in His goodness, designed food to be more than a means of survival. He designed food to be an agent of feasting, a divine symbol.

Feasting and abundance are outcomes of blessed obedience to the Creation Mandate: "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it" (Genesis 1:28).

Mankind was given the job of cultivating the Earth. Sadly, when sin entered the world that job became substantially more difficult. Fellowship between mankind and the Creator had been fractured, and food production became arduous.

In His law, God commanded several week-long feasts. These prescribed feasts were an attempt to point Israel toward God's covenant faithfulness, and His imminent victory over sin. Despite sin's influence on the Earth, God was faithful to provide for Israel. Throughout human history, feasts are often held by the victors of tumultuous battles. Feasting is a visual sign of God's provision, blessing, and fulfilled promises being poured out onto His people.

Because God is creative, there is an unquestionable artistic and symbolic nature to feasting. Israel was instructed to feast mindfully, to carefully pay attention to every detail. The minutiae mattered to God. The smallest detail pointed to a greater reality that would find its truest form in Christ.

In today's modern culture, hospitality is no longer a common practice. Many families don't eat regular meals together, let alone allocate time in their schedules for special celebrations or neighborly hospitality.

Although the Church ought to own the market on parties, many of her members are not well versed in planning victory parties. Our sacred text (the Bible) is ripe with symbolism, and so too should our gatherings be. As the Bride of Christ, we ought to understand the tremendous blessing it is to be invited to a table prepared for us. We ought to be eagerly extending invitations to our own neighbors.

Because of victorious King Jesus, our resurrected Savior, we may now understand the symbolic visual aids that the Old Testament feasts point us to. Feasting and fellowship have found their final seat at our tables, where Jesus has made their presence possible. We are no longer aliens or enemies of God, but friends; accepted house guests, given the bounty of King Jesus' prepared table. In light of His victory, let us open our own homes and host victory parties.

Table Talk Questions:

  1. What did the descriptive details of the Old Testament feasts point us to?

  2. What is feasting a sign of?

  3. What great foe has Jesus defeated, enabling us to feast in victory?

Today's Meal

Hawaiian Pork Sliders on a Potato Roll, Sweet Potato Wedges, & Oatmeal Lemon Cream Bars

Recipes

Crock Pot Hawaiian Pork

Prep and Cook Time: 6-8 hours

Yields enough for 24 sliders

2-4 pound Pork Roast

1 can Crushed Pineapple

1 medium Onion chopped finely

1 Tablespoon dried Parsley

1 Tablespoon Paprika

1 Tablespoon Black Pepper

1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

½ cup Soy Sauce

½ teaspoon Ginger

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

¼ cup Brown Sugar

Combine all ingredients in a Slow-Cooker, Dutch Oven, or Crock-Pot. Cook on high heat until tender and able to shred with a fork. This should take about 6-8 hours, depending on your particular device, once shredded, allow the meat to soak up the juices by cooking it a half an hour after shredding. Serve hot on a roll.

Oma's Potato Rolls

Prep and Cook Time: about 4 hours

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

1 egg

4 Tablespoons Butter

4 ¾ cup All-Purpose Flour

1 ¾ teaspoon Salt

In a medium saucepan, 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 yeast and starchy water to your mixing bowl.

Mash your potatoes and add to the 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.

Sweet Potato Wedges

Prep and Cook Time: about an hour

Serves: 6-8

½ cup butter

½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or more depending on your personal taste)

2 teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoon Black Pepper

4 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into wedges

Preheat oven to 400° F.

In a medium pot, melt butter and stir in cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.

Place the sweet potato wedges in a large bowl and pour the mixture on top.

Use your hands to toss the wedges, making sure each wedge is coated.

Pour the wedges onto a large sheet pan and arrange wedges in a single layer.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, taking the wedges out and flipping them after 15-20 minutes.

Test the wedges with a fork. The outside of the wedge will be dry and caramelized.

Of you like a crispier wedge, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. Watch closely, these can burn quickly.

Oatmeal Lemon Cream Bars

Prep and Cook Time: about an hour

Serves: 16

Crust and Topping:

1 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour

1 ¼ cups Rolled Oats

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Baking Soda

½ cup granulated Sugar

½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar

¾ cup Butter, melted

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Lemon filling:

1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 tablespoon Lemon Zest

⅓ cup Lemon Juice

⅓ cup large Egg yolks

½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Topping:

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish and set aside.

Combine the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Using a mixing spoon, stir in the sugars until thoroughly combined.

Add the vanilla and melted butter and mix until the dry ingredients are just moistened.

Gently press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared (greased) pan.

Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and set aside, leaving the oven set to 350° F.

Filling:

Whisk together the condensed milk, lemon zest, juice, egg yolks, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.

Pur into the baking pan over the baked crust. Spread evenly.

Crumble the remaining oatmeal crust evenly over top.

Bake at 350° F for 25 minutes, until lightly golden.

Remove and let set to cool at room temperature (about 1 hour) then refrigerate for 1 more hour and cut into squares once cooled, or serve warm with ice cream. Store in fridge.

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