All of these look to you
To give them food in due time.
When you give to them, they gather;
When you open your hand, they are well filled.
My family celebrates Thanksgiving
at the home of in-laws:
The Dangel clan numbers
about 90. Each year, I panic that the
hostess will ask me to make pies—a talent
I don’t possess—instead of the too-easy
dish I prepare.
Before we begin stuffing ourselves
with oodles of choices that make up
our feast, we pray. When all have eaten
more than their fill, an abundance of
leftovers remains. This is how it must
have looked after Jesus fed the multitudes
with a few loaves of bread and
We host a Christmas Eve party each
year for my extended family: The Niklas
clan is about 30 people. The much
larger Dangel clan comes to our house
a week or two after Easter.
These gatherings recall verse 27 of
Psalm 104: All look to God to feed them
until they are well filled. I envision
God preparing a heavenly banquet
from scratch, without assistance.
One large table would accommodate
all guests, and even the youngest children
would be served on the good
china. Everyone would be well filled,
but no one would experience indigestion
or gain weight.
Unlike me, God would calmly cope
with any complications, such as the
storm that crippled our city last Christmas
Eve. As my husband frantically
attempted to clear our steep and winding
driveway, my youngest sister called
to say her family couldn’t get out of
theirs: They were bringing the main
dish, which was roasting in her oven.
Other guests had similar problems.
I thought of Mary at Cana. I had “wine to gladden our hearts” (verse
14). I really needed Jesus to turn some
of the wine into a succulent roast.
Two hours before guests were supposed
to arrive, we decided to postpone
the party until the following weekend.
When that day arrived, the snow had
melted, and we were joined by other
relatives who had been unable to come
Christmas Eve. Many people commented, “The date doesn’t matter:
What’s important is just being together.”
Snow isn’t a concern for our post-Easter party. But spring rains sometimes
result in the creek on our property
flooding the road, which restricts entrance
and exit to our property.
But most of the time, our spring celebration
is reminiscent of verses 10-17
of Psalm 104: The gently flowing creek
winds through the hills, and birds build
their nests in budding trees. Newborn
ducklings and goslings from our neighbor’s
lake often raid our party, followed
closely by their protective parents.
Blooming daffodils and hyacinths
brighten my garden, but tulips are a
rare sight, due to the abundance of
deer, the roaming “beasts of the forest”
(verse 20) that chomp down the buds.
In recent years, we’ve added a store-bought
piñata to the traditional Easter
egg hunt. And we light a candle at all
family celebrations in memory of our
older son, Tim, who died four years
ago. The “flaming fire” (verse 4) reminds
me of others who are unable to
join us. Their absence reminds me to
use the good china more often because
every time we break bread together is a
Next: Psalm 8:4-5