Christmas Cooking Is your house filled with the odor of cookies and other Christmas treats being made? That is a household event inmany homes this time of the year. It is also one of my sister and my favoriteholiday activities. My mother was a talented, creative cook. With a large family and a lot of responsibility she would enlist we children to help. As the oldest, I was often the designated assistant. Unfortunately I was not always the most reliable assistant as my mom accused me of always having a book in one hand. I was a voracious reader. It was never a wise course of action to put me on baking duty. Every time my mom would say,"Pam, put that book down and pay attention to what is in the oven." No matter how good my intentions, I would become bored and pick my book back up and begin to read. I thought, "What could it hurt! I can pay attention to the oven and read a little bit." Wrong! In a little bit my mom would come in and catch me reading and I would get the tongue lashing I deserved or, oh yes, the smell of burning food would come wafting out of the oven.
You may be a more attentive cook than I was. But there is a lesson to be learned from my thinking I can do two things at once. I ended up not really enjoying my book and letting down my family as well. We often think we can serve God and have our own way at the same time. It never works. We need to keep our eyes on God and put aside our selfish desires. When we do focus on God, we discover that our personal desires become joyous and blessed beyond our hopes and dreams.
In a little over a week we all will be gathering with family and friends for our Thanksgiving celebrations. We all have favorite dishes we all look forward to. There was a sweet story told about Stephanie Yannottis' grandmother, Miss Polly. One of her grandsons was always too full and could never eat any dessert after the meal. His grand mom's would always have a second lemon meringue pie made just for him so she was certain he too could have some.
At the cemetery the young men of her family who were ushering told me their Nanny made the best hamburgers ever. One said, I have tried to make them just like Nanny's but they are just not the same."
God has a Heavenly banquet waiting for us with the best of everything. We can try substitutes in this life but they can not compare to knowing God and sharing in his eternal feast
Today we welcome Reverend Karen Radcliffe to Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Karen is a local girl and is the niece of Henry Hollis and the cousin of Becky Roderick.
You do not want to miss hearing Karen preach and the Family Dinner that will follow the Sunday Morning Service.
Karen is currently serving as Coordinator of Clergy Services and Secretary of the Annual Conference. She is the daughter of the late Ralph and Ann Radcliffe. Karen is a graduate of Candler School of Theology Emory University and has been serving churches in the South Carolina Annual Conference since 1987.