If you’re visiting from Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today devotions, welcome!
It was the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended… It was a Twelfth Night Dinner. The smell of roasted rib roast enveloped us as we walked through the front door. We were ushered through the bustling kitchen. It was filled with homemade dishes. Yorkshire pudding and mushroom pie were being taken out of the oven as we made our way to the family room adjacent to the dining-room. Candles flickered all over the table. Jars of homemade pickled watermelon rind and other delicacies adorned the table.
Their only daughter, Heidi (11 years old), was sitting on the sofa. We sat next to her. A wig covered her sparse, thin hair. Cancer had taken a toll on her brainstem and she wasn’t who she used to be physically or mentally. Slowly, she explained to us why her family celebrated Twelfth Night.
She looked off into the distance and recalled the beautiful story of the Magi following the star to find Jesus. The wise men were Gentiles (non-Jews) and were willing to go any distance to worship and adore Him with their finest gifts. At the close of her story, her words got slower. She took a long pause- we waited. Our daughters didn’t move a muscle nor did my husband or I. It was as if she were listening to a voice we couldn’t hear. Our hearts melted when slowly she said “Come let us adore Him and give Him our best- just like the wise men.”
Clanging pots and dishes jolted us back into the twentieth century. Pat, our hostess invited us to gather ‘round the table. Her toddler started to cry. She said, “Please excuse Galen, his ear drum burst last night. He didn’t get much sleep, he’s a little grumpy.” We joined hands and prayed.
I sat mesmerized that night, by this family. While suffering, they served. One child suffering the effects of brain stem cancer, another with a dreadful ear infection, a mom with no sleep, a third child that begged her attention and yet, she served us with joy. How ironic that her and her husband would host a night of worship in honor of the ultimate suffering servant, Jesus.
We ate our food with gladness and simplicity of heart, and praised God together. Our children were young but even they could sense the sacredness of the night. No one said a word on our way home. Years have passed since then, but every 12th night after Christmas, I remember the Kastock family and that special dinner. Heidi went home to be with the Lord. But she lives on in my heart as the greatest story teller of Twelfth Night, that there ever was.
It was literally the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended. The food was incredible. The fellowship sweet but the living example of a suffering servant is so indelibly etched in my heart and soul that it changed me forever.
Lord, help me to never wait until my circumstances are perfect to serve. Help me to serve when nothing is perfect, when life is hard and when it’s good. May I celebrate You all the days of my life with the same tenacity and with my finest gifts just like the wise men, and the Kastock’s.
I don’t know about you but I’ve already got the family in mind I want to invite over. How about you? We can’t wait till things get easier. It never does! To make it easier, you could have them over for just coffee and dessert.
The best Coconut Cream Cake (Gluten Free) recipe ever to serve with the coffee!
A make ahead dinner, try- Chicken and Dumpling Casserole (Gluten Free) I keep one of these in freezer at all times for unexpected company. You can bake it before you freeze it or freeze unbaked, both work.
Pat Kasktock’s Twelfth Night Yorkshire Pudding
Who are you going to invite? Leave their name in the comment section to enter the drawing to win this amazing book, Everyday Confetti written by my dear friends, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer and a $30 Target gift card to get the baking pan you need! The book is being released January 21, 2014. I’ll pick the winner next Wednesday!!