New Life Notes #5 – The Feast

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”                                   – John 13:34-35


Since coming home from the hospital, over the last couple of weeks, Denell and I have enjoyed a luscious feast. Every evening someone from our church family brings us a wonderful meal. We’ve had broiled salmon which tasted of delicious fish and lemon and mild spices. But there was another taste, a deep sweetness hidden in the dish. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was.

We’ve had chicken and rice, chicken salad, chef’s salad, baked chicken, ham and scalloped potatoes. All of them unique. All of them delicious. But, curiously, they all shared that sweet, hidden flavor. What was it? And how did this variety of skillful cooks find in their kitchens this same flavoring?

Another night it was turkey chili. So good. So filling. And there again was that similar, hidden taste. Then we enjoyed a fine sliced ham and vegetables and soup and the hidden taste was strong but again not readily identifiable to my natural taste buds. The feast continued with meat loafs and potato soup and beef and mashed potatoes and lasagna and spaghetti and turkey with cranberries and brussels sprouts and chicken pot pie… We have so many great cooks! What a blessing to enjoy your kitchen artistry. Every meal delicious. Every meal unique. Every meal a precious gift. The flavors each night are different, but every one shares that deep and mysterious sweetness. The flavor that accompanied each dinner, what was it? The unmistakable ingredient woven into chicken and ham and fish and beef dishes alike, permeating vegetables and fruits and salads and desserts, what was it?

My sister brought me a lunch sandwich from Carson City, and somewhere amidst the turkey between the slices of shepherd’s bread was that same distinctive taste. My daughter-in-law stopped by one morning before church to present me with a homemade heart-healthy smoothie. I tasted the banana. I tasted the flax seed. And I tasted the now-familiar secret sweetness. It was powerfully present once again.

The feast continues. Thank you. It means so much to Denell and me that you have provided for us in this way. It is a beautiful expression of your… Ah, that’s it! I have it. I know the hidden ingredient. The deep sweetness in every dinner. The secret of the feast we have been enjoying through these weeks. I know what it is.

Every meal tastes like love.

With deep gratitude for our Covenant family,


Pastor Jay