Twelfth Night Dinner

 

 

The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on. . .

The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on in our Home

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

2 Corinthians 12:9a, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

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!! Everyday confetti

 

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Patrick, Aidan and Gavin

  2. Denny & Sue :-)

  3. Donna G says:

    Thomas, Betty, Lisa & Neal

  4. Marty and Amanda, a sweet couple at church with two young children.

  5. Teresa F says:

    Marilee and Stan

  6. Laura says:

    Adam, Heather and Collin.

  7. Laura says:

    Adam, Heather and Collin

  8. I pray 2014 is the year I will stop making excuses & actually reach out to our neighbors. Thank you for sharing this precious story.

  9. Evelyn says:

    My former co-worker and friend, Kathie. It’s long overdue.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mike and Kathy, Sweet neighbors who are struggling with life decisions with no clear message from our Lord. If we could just hear in the quiet God’s message to us instead of remembering we haven’t cleaned the bathroom today so we can’t have anyone over. Or the dog’s toys are all over the house and her footprints are all over the kitchen floor. Or I am not sure if my husband will get home in time. Being in community fellowship in service with one another, I believe, is why God brought us all here to earth. To share his love and His Word is also another reason he wants us to be in community.
    Sharon your life stories have touched my heart and remind me not to try to do life so alone……

  11. Randelle R. says:

    My friend Samara. I’ve been over to her place but too scared to invite her to mine…

  12. Karen H. says:

    Mick, Amanda and their seven children

  13. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and experience. I have several people in mind but I do pray that my list will grow and I will be able to have all to my home on the next Twelfth Night. What a wonderful way to share praise and glory to our Lord!

  14. Kendra Mitchell says:

    Tony and Carrie

  15. Patty B says:

    Zac & Vanessa

  16. Kathy E. says:

    I have been relunctant for 15 years now about inviting friends and members from my church to my home. I remember entertaining in the early years of my marriage but something happened along the way and I have given up on that idea. After reading your devotion this morning I thought I have been there except the dog ate my chocolate, now honey when that happens to a woman a war with the dog is on, after scolding my little dog her tearful eyes broke my heart and of course she got sick so from that we both learned a lesson. I know God is not ashamed of me or my home, I know I have to get over this shameful problem I have and open up my home for people to come and visit anytime they need to. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Thank you so much for your words this morning. I have also subscribed to receive your blogs, I can’t wait to try out some of your Gluten-Free recipes. Thank you again Sharon God Bless, Kathy E.

  17. Janice says:

    Larry and members of my husband’s secular band.

    • Sharon, this is an amazing tradition. Thanks for sharing your personal experience with the family who first introduced you to the Twelfth Night Dinner; it brought tears of humility. Our neighborhood is having our annual Progressive Meal this Saturday and we are hosting the dessert. I’ve been pondering how we could share Jesus during our time together, and your devotional has confirmed the Holy Spirit’s leading, and has also given me some ideas. How is Bob doing? May your 2014 bring much fulfillment in Christ.

      • Hi Charme! Bob is so much better! He brushed his teeth and combed his hair yesterday. The day before that he couldn’t lift his arms! Everyday has been monumental in recovery. Thank you for praying and asking. Love you!

  18. Ashley says:

    I have never heard the story of the Twelfth Night until today! Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to wait until my life or home is “perfect” to invite friends over! I will invite Linda, Crystal, Jamie, Denise, Sandy, AJ, and Cindy. :)

  19. Yenise Fernandez says:

    I am going to invite Aldys. A young woman who is struggling to get pregnant but whose faith in our Lord inspires me everyday~

  20. Timely devotional… I went to deliver a meal to a family last night, only to lose 1/2 of their dinner all over the back of my car during transport… argh! Came back home to make more… poor family didn’t get to eat dinner til 8pm! Hopefully they felt the love, despite the shortcomings!! :)

    • OH my goodness Ellie, I had the same thing happen to me!!!! The whole dinner spilled in the back of my car! I drove immediately home, my family was getting ready to eat their portion of the same dinner. They were just sitting down to pray, hadn’t taken a bite of food yet. . .and I took their food to deliver to the family who were waiting for me!! It was funny. They made themselves PBJ sandwiches after I left!!

  21. Christine Fetrow says:

    I would invite my sister Lori, who just moved from CA after 35 years of no family to connect with. We are finally reunited in the same city and in the LORD! Praise God!

  22. Celeste says:

    Susan montgomery, a co worker and new friend, needing a night “away”!

  23. Carina says:

    I’m not sure who I’d invite. I haven’t invited anyone into our house in a long time. We used to have people over often but I’m not sure what happened along the way it’s been a while….

  24. Lorrie Moudy says:

    Mark, Geni, Adam, and Laura

  25. Kathy says:

    I was very moved by the story of the Twelfth Night…I would love to have someone over to celebrate but to be easier on me, we will go out with a couple we’ve known for many years to celebrate and enjoy their presence.

  26. Diane Fetter says:

    Not sure who the Lord will lay on my heart, to invite into are home. However I have felt God speaking to me about sharing my gifts of hospitality. I’m always looking for the perfect time, which we all know never happens. This spoke to me, as if once again God is speaking to me.
    I did to listen to see what God wants me to do in this area.
    Thank-you for sharing this story.
    In God’s Love
    Diane

  27. Becky J says:

    I need to invite a dear family from church that has suffered great loss and struggle this past year…to extend Jesus’ love! Two little girls whose mother passed away and were abused by stepfathers….Jesus loves His little lambs. Sharon, I am ALWAYS so blessed by your words. Praying all of your family is well!

  28. I would invite my parents! My Dad & I have not spoken in over a year because of something that I’ve not been able to bring myself to forgive him for. But, now I feel like God’s helped me to be able to forgive him. I would invite them over to let them know that he’s forgiven & I still love him.

  29. Ruth R says:

    Lenore & Mark

  30. Mary T says:

    We will invite Lisa and her son CJ! My friend Lisa is a single mom now and struggling to make ends meet. She always gives what little she has to others! She always gives the greatest gift she could offer to anyone she might meet and everyone who crosses her path…herself! We are special educators and Lisa always inspires me. She has a way of teaching our most challenged students and praises Jesus for her gifts and talents. She is a volunteer for my Special Olympics team and goes above and beyond for our athletes. I am always saying

  31. Mary T says:

    That I want to serve her and you have given me the encouragement I need to just do it! Thank you Sharon!

  32. Amanda says:

    Hi Sharon,
    Your story reminded me of my sweet friend Kelly who I live so very far away from now. She was always inviting people into her home and sharing the love of Christ no matter what was going on in her life or how clean her home was. She had us over for a 12th night dinner many years ago, when our children were still small and it was a lovely evening with the children acting out the wise men’s arrival at the manger. I have a list of people I would love to get to know better and share Christ’s love with. I will get started! Thank you.

  33. shannon says:

    Rita and Andrew and their family. It’s amazing what the Lord can and does do! I have been feeling the need to have them over to encourage them but did not feel like I had the time to “impress” them. I read your devotion and found your blog. I know the Lord doesn’t want me to wait until all is “ready”. I’m getting started this weekend…Sunday afternoon dinner sounds like a great way to start. Thanks so much!

  34. Cheryl says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve read several times that opening your home in whatever condition is sharing God’s love and I enjoyed your story as well. I have several people in mind, my elderly neighbor, another single mom from church, and my another neighbor family that loves my son as their own.

  35. Oh, how happy I am to find you! I work at our church and am attempting to add material on the very subject of godly hospital. Love your post(s). Blessings!

  36. This story touched me so deeply. I’m feeling a little sorry for myself today. My hubby and I just moved far from our kids and friends to a new community and haven’t met a soul thanks to the harsh winter weather.
    I love the idea of doing a special dinner. Maybe soon, I’ll be able to invite a new friend to share God’s blessing with.

  37. Carol says:

    Reading your devotion and blog was so timely, as I was really feeling very overwhelmed with people I need to invite over, but now feel encouraged and liberated. So will start with Mike, Jo and their two kids.

  38. Carol says:

    Sorry, my email address was wrong so reposting……
    Reading your devotion and blog was so timely, as I was really feeling very overwhelmed with people I need to invite over, but now feel encouraged and liberated. So will start with Mike, Jo and their two kids.

  39. This is a great TRADITION, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A RECIPE FOR THE CAKE ,BUT I CAN’T PRINT IT OUT IN JUST TEXT, HOW DO YOU DO THAT

  40. Barbara says:

    The Starr family who graciously hosted my faughter’s graduation party last summer. Great inspiration!

  41. Courtney says:

    George & Jackie Hicks. :)

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