One of the themes that kept coming to me throughout this year, both in our Word Nerd Wednesday series on the Feasts of the Bible and as we explored experiencing God through the sense of taste He gave us, has been the idea of gathering people together around food, making memories over meals. So, for the next couple of weeks some friends of mine and I will be sharing recipes and remembering what makes them truly special to us! I hope you’ll be as blessed by these stories as I have been, and maybe you’ll discover a new family favorite!
By J.E. Berry
It’s amazing the emotional attachment we have with food. Food can make us think and feel things in a way that can take us places. Back to where we last had it. To the person who served it to us. To the memories that surrounded it. Good or bad. Many times, simply being greeted with the aroma of an age-old dish is enough to send our minds reeling and our senses longing.
Growing up, my mother was the matriarch of mac and cheese for our family. And still is. People talk about it all year round and place their orders for events on a regular basis. It’s absolutely delicious! However, one recipe that takes me back years, is one that she learned far before I was born. The delectable 7-up cake! It has made an appearance at our family holiday gatherings for as long as I can remember. No matter what state our family was in. Its thick curved slices bring so many memories to the surface. It has been a part of an exclamation point on many years that could have ended with “….”.
You see, over the years, our family has gone through many changes and traumas. Though our family was full of love, every generation dealt with their own set of traumatic circumstances. Addictions, divorces, death, relational turmoil, childhood issues, who can really name them all. Rough years that could have easily ripped what remnant of family we had left apart. Burden laden bodies wandering through life on survival mode. Folks trying to hang onto what little sanity they had so they could be strong for everyone else.
Then came Thanksgiving.
When none of that mattered. All that caused us to be bruised and battered had no hold on us as we melted together around the table to taste all the memories that were baked into cakes and casseroles. All that mattered was that we were all together. Broken pieces of clay all swept into a pile of familiarity. It’s beautiful really. Like gluing a handle back onto a broken mug. Though there may be chips in it, the coffee it holds is still hot and the sipping is still good. We would hug and high five as we recalled hilarious visions of the past. Our bruises were less painful at the table. And that sweet dense perfection of a 7-up cake was attacked with full force without a crumb left. Topping it with homemade vanilla ice cream, we would smile and laugh and talk about how good it was and reminisce.
All these chipped-up pieces of people. Family, still with a pulse, purposeful and viable. Reminds me of us believers. Heirs of Christ, family of God. We all had our weights and burdens that left their marks on us. We scrapped through life trying to keep it together and save ourselves. We needed revival.
Then came Jesus.
He finds us battered and scarred, crumbed clay pieces, and pulls us out of the darkness to sweep us together. Giving us a place at the table of grace where there is much to eat and plenty to drink for all who hunger and thirst. Us wanderers come to the table with baskets full of tears and leave with the bread of life. Dense delectable LIFE. A recipe for healing that was given to us far before we were born. We believers come gather at the table of grace and we’re family there. Nothing else matters in those seats. We are welcomed with familiarity by a God who knows us. Steadfast love, mercy, and redemption replaces the weight of our sin and shame. We eat freely.
We always have an open invitation at the Lord’s table. Where the bruises are less painful. There, He serves us His grace endlessly. However, it’s not just for our benefit. Grace requires our response and passing. It goes well with what we serve at our holiday tables. It’s a dish best served in abundance.
Partake and pass freely!We believers come gather at the table of grace and we’re family there. Nothing else matters in those seats. We are welcomed with familiarity by a God who knows us. Steadfast love, mercy, and redemption replaces the weight of our sin and… Click To Tweet
7 Up Cake Recipe
3 Sticks of butter
3 cups of sugar
3 cups of flour
2Tblsp Lemon Extract
¾ cup 7up soda
- With a mixer blend sugar and butter
- Mix in eggs one at a time.
- Mix in flour and extract
- Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 15 min.
J.E. Berry is the author of The Truth About Happiness and has just released her first EP Album “Renamed”. She is a beloved wife and mother of five children. J.E. has a heart for outreach and seeing people come to know freedom through a relationship with Christ Jesus, specifically women who have yet to see their God-given destiny because of lingering bondage. As an author and speaker, she explores things that hinder us from moving forward in our walk with Christ. Such as people-pleasing, unhappiness, un-forgiveness and much more, to try and lend a hand in unveiling the culprits so that we can move forward in victory. She carries this same passion into each area of ministry she is active in.
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope