A Table Set With Love

Originally published Wednesday, 13 February 2013.

'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.  Revelation 3:20-21 NAS

The table holds interesting significance culturally and also Biblically. Culturally the table is (or was) the center of the home. Family caught up on the daily triumphs and trials, hearts and stomachs nourished. The kitchen table was also often a center for learning where school-aged children were either taught at home or completed homework. And in generations passed, back on the farm, the kitchen table was apparently also used for baby delivering...at least that’s what Grandpa always said about his own entrance into the world... though I’m not sure that was standard procedure! Tables have been gathering grounds for world peace talks, war talks, business and every other sort of employment as well as pastimes.

Biblically, the table holds special significance as well. The Lord’s table in the Tabernacle and Temple was the resting place for the Bread of the Presence--an object symbolizing the coming Messiah who would be the Bread of Life and called Immanuel, God with Us! Jesus’ ministry often centered around tables. It was at an ordinary table that Communion was first shared before the literal breaking of Christ’s body. It was around a table that Jesus’ feet were washed in the repentant tears of a desperate woman who found grace. And strangely, God can even set a table for His children in the presence of their enemies--if for no other reason to show His child and His enemies that He ultimately reigns sovereign.

For me personally, our table has hosted dinners, game nights, crafting parties, soul bearing conversations late into the night, endured folded stacks of laundry that should been put away days ago, been the sorting grounds for business papers and long talks to figure life out, held hot baking pans laden with Christmas cookies and been the place I folded my arms and plopped my head over when I’ve worn myself out with it all! But one of my favorite table activities has been Valentine’s tea.

In years passed I’ve regularly had a Valentine’s tea party for single friends, widows or someone who could just use some lovin’ on. And at every tea I include Bible verses on the place cards.  Especially if I invite friends who aren’t really close to the Lord, the Bible verse place cards are a non-pushy way to share a little bit of God’s love. It’s there if they want it, perhaps it sparks some encouraging conversation. But more than anything it’s a doorknob the Holy Spirit can use to open up their heart to His love--whether we talk about it that afternoon or not.

So here’s a recipe for scones that you will love and a pdf. download of some sweet Valentine place cards you can use at your own tea, around your dinner table or perhaps just to decorate those piles of laundry with a reminder of God’s love :)

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Orange Ginger Scone Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour (I like to use unbleached & unbromated)
1/4 cup sugar (or sucanat--unprocessed sugar cane)
1/8 cup grated ginger (less if you don’t like ginger)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cream, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange juice 
1/4 cup (plus or minus a little) powdered sugar

- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture. (Mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.)

- Add 2/3 cup cream and the 2 tablespoons orange juice to the flour mixture. Stir just until the dough comes together, being careful not to overmix. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, knead gently 4 to 5 times, and then pat or roll the dough into a 1 1/2-inch-thick circle.

- Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cutter or circle biscuit cutter, cut dough into 12 scones, re-rolling as necessary. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet.

- Bake until scones are pale golden brown and a wooden pick inserted near the middle comes out clean  (12 to 15 minutes). - Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

- In a small sauce pan, bring orange juice to a simmer, then add powdered sugar and whisk together until opaque. Drizzle over scones... and/or dollop with whipped cream :)