Growing up in a church-going household living on a farm meant Sunday dinner. Dinner on Sunday, any day, for that matter if you live in rural America, does not mean the meal you eat after dark. It means the meal you eat after breakfast, the one that has meat, potatoes, at least a couple of vegetables, bread and iced tea. For my family, it meant smelling the roast beef the minute you stepped out of the car and walked up to the door. It meant pulling out the fancy plates that had the brown turkey on them, and filling up the glasses with ice for the iced tea. It meant sitting around the table for hours on Sunday afternoon, and more often than not, with several guests.
These days, with kids' youth group activities on early Sunday evening, and the price of gasoline, we don't all come home every single Sunday for Sunday dinner. I kinda wish we did. At least once a month or so, I have to get my fix. In faith, I put two chickens in the oven to roast, stuffed with lemons, garlic and thyme. Peeled and cubed butternut squash and roasted them with garlic and thyme, cream and chevre. We thawed out some of summer's green beans. I picked a big bunch of arugula and sauteed it with garlic, onions, tomatoes and sea salt. A pan of rice instead of mashed potatoes because I want to make sure and have enough for Thanksgiving and Christmas. A couple of loaves of fresh bread. Plenty of iced tea. Extra friends who like spontaneous Sunday dinner invites. And....gingerbread. With whipped cream on top. It was just what I wanted. Maggie and I made a huge pan. It smelled so good. I found an old-fashioned recipe and doubled it. I think the next time we make it I might add a bit more ginger and some lemon zest. Even if we don't change a thing, we will definitely make it again. I think that the freshly milled wheat added a nice nutty taste.
We sat around the table for hours, covering many topics of conversation, even hitting politics, ever so delicately, since there were several different opinions sitting around. Is it any wonder that heaven is going to involve a huge feast? The ultimate Sunday dinner.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.