The Recipe Or The Meal?

Saturday, November 23, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise The Lord His Glories Show"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 90:14 – Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (NIV)

In a way, my role as minister of music is like following a recipe. Each week, many of us do our part in gathering and preparing the ingredients for the worship service. True, this preparatory work can be quite satisfying in itself, in the same way that preparing a recipe for a meal can give us joy. And that's okay. After all, enjoying our work is a gift from God.

Yet following a recipe is not the same as eating the meal itself. We can't be truly nurtured unless we take in the meal. Let's think about the meal, or rather, the feast which God Himself has prepared and provided through His Son Jesus Christ. It is a splendid feast! What can be more tasteful, satisfying, and joyous than the blessings of God's redemptive love promised to all who surrender to Him? What can compare to God's abiding presence and His promises to provide, guide, and protect, to fill with His joy, and to empower with His Spirit? And it's for anyone! God's lavish forgiveness knows no bounds. He graciously restores to Himself all who humbly turn to Him. He gives meaning to their lives. Through these people, He builds His church and shines His light to the world. These are the ingredients which comprise the feast of God's covenant blessing! Oh, what nourishment is ours in Christ! Surely, He Himself is our cause for joy and gladness!

Are you shouting for joy over this? Is joy and gladness resounding in the depths of your being? Does your heart "leap for joy" over these truths? The psalmists and prophets of old rejoiced over these very things. God Himself rejoiced! So did Jesus!

I've been pondering this lately: Really, why should we be any less than joyful over the fulfillment of God's covenant plan among us? It may be that we are so preoccupied with meal preparation that we fail to take in the feast God has set before us. Or we merely nibble. And so, we have become robbed of joy — the invigorating joy of the Lord.

Perhaps that is what distinguishes us from the psalmists as they penned expressions of exuberant joy, or from the prophets who fervently pointed to the coming joy. I would say that these ancient people were not merely filling a recipe as they wrote their lines. They could enjoy God's feast itself — even in the midst of their troubles. God had spread His table before them, and they tasted the goodness of the Lord. Jeremiah said, "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight." (Jeremiah 15:16a) May God's promises fill you and me with such joy. May we find satisfaction in Him.

Prayer: Dear Lord, life can so easily became preoccupied with filling recipes, and we merely nibble from Your table. We are undernourished. Revive us that we may again rejoice in You and that our cup may overflow. Restore unto us the joy of Your lavish gifts of salvation. Amen.

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About the author:

Diane Eaton <>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you Diane.

    Amen Diane. Thanks for sharing.

    Dear Diane!
    I loved the question!!! AMEN to your prayer.
    Unless we take the truth into our very guts (hearts) we are undernourished.
    Thanks for writing to us.

    “The recipe or the meal”…
    Thank you for this lovely message! I will offer this day’s devotion at our annual Thanksgiving gathering (a collection of perhaps 20 friends), with credits given to you and PresbyCan.

    I am not a minister of music or even a singer in a choir but I agree with all you had to say. Over three years ago there was a big explosion in the church we have been members of for many years. The details are not important but over half the congregation left. We stayed for awhile but we started worshipping at a church that was more modern and up to the present with a praise team, 2 services in the morning and many young adults and children filling the pews. Now several months have gone by and we aren’t exactly happy. But not to worry — we may not know the future but we know who holds the future. In Him we can put our trust.
    I have found many on this devotional page who have had great insight into expressing their faith and so God often uses others experiences to help us.
    Hope Christmas and the following 2014 are a blessing to you and yours.

    Hi Diane, What a wonderful and thoughtfully worked out meditation.
    I have forwarded it to a few others that they too may be blessed in thinking about “feasting at the Lord’s table’ and not just on the crumbs.
    Thanks for sharing.

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