During my grandson’s recent tour of duty in Florida, I got an email from his wife asking for recipes of different meals he loved. As I was typing them up for her, the thought struck me – It wasn’t necessarily the ingredients that made these meals so unique or special but the memories and our family history. Hang on with me, and let me share with you how one such recipe came to be called.

When my girls were younger, we had a dear family friend with an incredibly generous heart who allowed us the use any one of his family-owned cabins or homes in northern Minnesota. His generosity was extended to us the entire time we lived in the Minneapolis area and many Friday afternoons found us packing up the car and heading north for fantastic times together! We were particularly excited when our getaways fell over a holiday or a 3-day weekend. These getaways may be decades in our past but the memories are so deeply entrenched in our family’s history that even today someone might pop up and say… Do you remember the time when…

As it turned out, there was one particular 4th of July holiday that found us at our friend’s lake. Due to the remote nature, we always brought all of the fixins’ for our meals. We were able to cook up some spectacular meals due to the fully furnished kitchens. So here we are with the holiday and wishing to add to our family’s celebration, I made new-to-us icebox cake which ended up being the centerpiece of our party. The family loved it and immediately it was christened “Fourth of July Cake”.  So here we are decades later, celebrating birthdays or party times and having requests for “Fourth of July Cake”. Even the grandchildren will ask for it, not even realizing the history and the memories that request can stir up.  

These special family recipes (and we all have them) not only bring up memories but connect us in so many ways. I have found myself wishing all of my family members had been able to experience in person the first time we conjured up our unique culinary delights. I would like to remind them: “You have a rich family history surrounded by people who love you and want the very best for you!”

Recently, while participating in the Lord’s Table, my mind wandered to food, family, and gatherings. It was not a random, wandering down memory lane but rather a strong connection to another meal and another time. A meal that had words spoken: Do this in remembrance of me.

In obedience, Jesus led his disciples in a meal that has been described as His last. A meal that had its roots buried deep in history where God’s people celebrated a ‘night to remember’…a night where His people left Egypt to become a peculiar treasure called to be His own. The Passover meal that Jesus celebrated was brought to another level when Christ took the bread and wine and made them to be reminders of the sacrifice that would come. And we remember His sacrifice each and every time we share in this family meal. The meal we call the Lord’s Table.

Not everyone that sits around our family table now were present when we first served our favorite dish. But the memories and significance and what the meal represents define us, ground us, and form us. In even a greater way, the time we gather at the Lord’s Table allows us to connect with Christ defining us, grounding us, and forming us as we share in His meal, remembering His sacrifice.

I know this has been a huge leap between vacations at the lake to the Lord’s Table and I hope you get what my heart is wishing to communicate. History has a story to tell. My story, my family’s story. My Savior’s history, His story. May memories and His story penetrate deep into our hearts and our minds. May God bless each one of us as we share these with our children and with our family.

And if anyone’s interested, recipes are available upon request!

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