The Feast That Cost Everything


There are many accounts of feasting in the Bible. The one that comes to mind is actually the assigned reading for next Sunday (10/11)

Read the Lord’s feast that Isaiah envisions in Isaiah 25:6–9.

6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7 And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. 9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Have you ever heard the story of Babette’s feast, written by Isak Dinesen. (For the original story, see Isak Dinesen, Babette’s Feast [New York: Penguin Classics, 2011].)

The setting for the story is among a small, austere remnant of Lutherans living in an impoverished fishing village on the coast of Norway. Through the years, they have renounced most worldly pleasures. In order not to appear too joyful, they always wear black. Their diet is a routine of boiled cod and gruel made from boiling bread in water. This small, faithful following is led by two sisters: Martine, named for Martin Luther, and Philippa, named for Philip Melanchthon.

One night, a French cook named Babette knocks on their door. She had lost her husband and son during the civil war in France. Her life has been in danger, and somehow, she’s ended up in this small Lutheran village. The sisters are not in favor of the idea of the fancy French cooking Babette is used to, but they agree to let her be their cook when she promises not to break their flavorless culinary traditions.

Babette speaks very little of her past life in France, so it comes as a surprise one day (twelve years after her arrival in the village) when she receives her first letter in the mail. A friend back in Paris had purchased a lottery ticket for Babette each year. This year, her ticket has won. Ten thousand francs! The sisters are glad for Babette’s winnings, but sad for themselves as they suspect Babette will soon be leaving them.

It so happens that Babette winning the lottery coincides with an anniversary celebration the sisters have been discussing in honor of their religious community. Upon learning this, Babette has a request: she wants to prepare the meal for the anniversary dinner. She wants to cook a real French meal.

The sisters are skeptical, as is their tiny community of faithful followers. However, they all agree to allow Babette this one request. Soon, she’s placed the order for the food she’ll prepare: champagne, wine, beef, fresh vegetables, truffles, ham, various kinds of seafood and fowl.

Finally, the day of the feast arrives. Babette decorates the table with fine china, candles, and crystal. The guests are still skeptical, but after a while, the effect of the food and drink on them becomes transformative. They laugh together and share stories of former times they hadn’t told in years. They remember a fault or offense they were guilty of many years ago, but as soon as one confesses it, another speaks a word of forgiveness. They join their voices in singing. They walk home arm in arm with one another. Such joy like this hadn’t been seen in a long time.

In the final scene of the story, the sisters thank Babette for such a glorious event. They understand that with her recent winnings, she will be leaving to go back to Paris. But much to their surprise, Babette declares she will not be returning to Paris. “Why not,” they ask, “since you have all that money?” Babette tells them something they never expected to hear. She has spent all the money, all ten thousand francs, on the meal. Such a lavish feast cost everything.

We treasure the feast we partake of at the Lord’s Table. We feast on the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The feast that we enjoy, the great banquet “on the mountain” cost our host, Jesus, everything. And what a feast it is! What generous grace! Grace upon grace in God’s mercy and forgiveness.

What conversation, what connection, what community . . . what a celebration! But let’s never lose sight of our Host. Of His conversation with us through God’s Word, of His connection with us in Holy Baptism and the community of all believers that we have with our fellow Christians.

God’s Blessings and peace as we fix our eyes upon Jesus; our Host...who gave everything…for you. (Hebrews 12:2)



Public Worship and Weekly Bible Studies Have Resumed

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I am pleased to share the following joyous news with you. The Healthy Congregation Committee has set the return to a single worship service for Sunday, August 23, 2020, at the regular 10:30 a.m. starting time.

In order to return to a single service, there are some concessions that must be made. If you ae not feeling well, please stay at home until you are feeling better.

Social distancing guidelines will continue. In addition to the Sanctuary, church members and visitors may sit in the choir area, the Narthex, or the Parlor. Due to the increased number of people at worship, face masks need to be worn if possible. In order to accommodate the increased number of people in the sanctuary, it is requested that family groups sit next to each other, while leaving 6 feet to the next church member on either side. Pews will continue to be roped off to maintain social distancing. The committee also asks that we refrain from shaking hands and hugging.

Holy Communion will be offered during the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays and Pastor Knobloch will provide those directions at the service. The manner in which the sacraments will be delivered will be different to limit contact. Reverence will be maintained however we will all need to work together and give a little as we adjust to these temporary, small changes.

Sunday School will continue at 9:30 a.m. for the youngest classes. The Young Adults and Sr. Classes are not yet ready to resume due to limits on where those classes can be taught and still observe social distancing.

Please join me in praying for our church family and in praying for continued good public health rates of COVID-19 in Montague County and the City of Bowie.

Of course we also must remember that any increases in COVID-19 cases may cause state or county officials to change the rules and that could impact our worship plans.

Please thank the Healthy Congregation Committee for their work in supporting our Church Elders desire to return to a single worship service.

I look forward to seeing and worshipping along with you on August 23, 2020.

God’s Blessings to you,

Mike Jones, Congregational President

If you do not feel comfortable returning to worship at this time or if you are ill, please continue to worship from home. Our services will continue online with Facebook Live on our Youth Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/St-Peter-Lutheran-Youth-and-Childrens-Ministry-Bowie-Texas-269796823597/ and after the service, the video will be posted as well as an audio recording under the “sermons” tab on this webpage. 

Our service bulletins now contain the complete liturgy, hymns and Bible Readings. The weekly bulletin can be found at:  https://stpetertex.com/weekly_bulletins

Online giving through Tithe.ly is available through the "giving" button in the top right hand corner of this webpage.

CDs and DVDs are also be available by calling the church office.

  October 2020  
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Bowie, Texas


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