• Pastor Joel Engman

A taste of Advent


During the weeks of advent leading up to Christmas we'll be sharing meditations for your journey. Pastor Joel starts with this reflection on a family tradition.

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I wait for lefse all year long. Its history is long and traveled. My relatives made it in Scandinavia and again in Antler, ND where my great-grandparents eventually settled. It’s made with mashed potato leftovers from holiday meals. To the nearly discarded mashed potatoes a few simple ingredients are added (flour, butter, and milk or cream), then rolled out and griddled. Each year, as we reach for the recipe, add the ingredients, and griddle the lefse we remember our ancestors and enjoy a family tradition. Luke shares a similar ancestral story. Luke chapter 1 verse 72 of Zechariah’s prophesy reads, He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and remembered his holy covenant, the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham Maybe you have a family recipe like lefse which is cherished, saved, pulled out and used over and over again. These traditions connect the personalities, experiences, and dare I say love from long ago to our present. Likewise, God fulfills promises in each generation: Abraham, Zechariah, Mary and Mary the Mother of Jesus. God's active fulfillment of promises is good news! God doesn’t stop with them. I like to spread butter on top of the griddled lefse and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar generously atop. In each bite dwells memories of clinging and waiting with expectation at my mother’s side in the kitchen, dropping off homemade lefse to my grandfather, sharing it with my brother as children and now doing my best to replicate it with my young family. During this advent season may we cherish and share the Good news that God’s promises are not only for previous generations but actively present for us. No matter how old the promise may be God let’s nothing go to waste. God takes our leftover mashed potatoes and adds spiritual staples like flour, rich meaning like butter and sweetness like milk. God griddles them to perfection and smiles as we taste God’s storied history. In this advent season may we proclaim God’s promises alongside the generations before us. When we do it tastes so good. This Christmas season may we savor each bite, slow down as we remember, and step forward in the knowledge of God's ever-present, always active promises of mercy, grace, and love. We wait for it all year long. May we enjoy the promises of this Christmas season. If you want to try out lefse yourself this holiday season here is my families receipe. Trust me butter and cinnamon sugar spread atop, rolled up and eaten is heaven. Pastor Joel Engman Harmony Springs is slowing things down this Christmas season. Join us on Sundays leading up to Christmas as we savor each moment this holiday.


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