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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Banquet - deadline 8-16-12 10 am NY time (08/09/12)

TITLE: The Excellence of the Feast
By Shanta Richard


Long ago when the earth was young and the animals could speak, there lived two friends in a forest by the river. Mr. Fox lived in a cave in the rocks, and his friend Miss. Stork lived in the reeds by the water. One day the fox caught a fat hen and ate her with relish. Somehow a bone got stuck in his throat and he could not get it out. He coughed and he hiccupped and turned his head around but to no avail. Watching his plight the stork said,
“Brother Fox, please open your mouth as wide as you can and I will pick the bone out with my long beak.”
The Fox opened his mouth and the stork put her head in and pulled out the bone. The fox was very happy and invited the stork to supper that evening.

The fox decided to cook a sumptuous meal for his friend. Chicken noodle soup was his favorite dish and he prepared it. The delicious aroma of the soup welcomed the stork as she arrived at the house. The fox greeted her at the door and led her to the dining room. He had spread out his best tablecloth and set the table with a vase of Iris flowers and white candles in silver stands. He laid out two sparkling soup plates. The friends sat down and after saying grace the fox poured out the rich flavored soup onto the plates.
“Go on eat, my friend, the soup is very good. It is my treasured recipe and I made it especially for you.”

The poor stork with her long beak could not even taste the soup. She tried to pick the noodles but they kept slipping away. She could only eat the chicken pieces. After the meal she thanked the fox and said that the chicken was delightful.

This is one my mother’s stories, whose origin I do not know. All her stories had a moral and the one for this was:
“The excellence of a feast lies in its appropriateness rather than its value.”

This is a principle worth considering when preparing a banquet or feast. Normally the purpose of a feast is to honor a person or celebrate an occasion. Sometimes a rich man would use it as an opportunity to show-off his wealth or a king to proclaim his power and fame. The Persian King Xerxes held a banquet that lasted six months to show the riches of the imperial court with all its splendor and majesty. (Esther 1:4).

Whatever the reason the focus of the feast should not be lost sight of. When Martha complained to Lord Jesus that Mary was not helping her prepare the feast, He gently reminded her that she was missing the purpose of the feast, which was to honor the guest and not the meal.

The excellence of the feast does not lie in its value. To the tired and travel- weary prophet, Elijah, the tiny loaf of bread and a cup of water offered by the widow woman of Zarephath, was a real banquet. To the lonely, poor foreigner, Ruth, the roasted grain at the table of Boaz was more than a feast.

Above all the most excellent, most magnificent, the most precious and most blessed feast of all was the one where thirteen men shared bread and wine in the upper room that fateful Thursday night two thousand years ago. It was a banquet in honor of the sacrifice the Son of God was going to make by shedding His blood and dying on the cross in perfect atonement for human sin. Through the centuries Christians everywhere remember, honor, cherish and celebrate that Feast. Its value is not measured by the cost of the bread and wine, but by the priceless Blood and Body of the Savior which they represent,

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This article has been read 209 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/16/12
A very clever and well written story. I enjoyed it from start to the very last word. Nicely done, and certainly on topic.

Thanks. God Bless~
Mildred Sheldon08/17/12
I so agree with what you have written. You did an outstanding job telling about the coming feast with the Lamb.
Patsy Hallum08/17/12
I love your mothers story. It is the way the feast fits.
Keep writing for the Lord!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/18/12
I really enjoyed this. At the beginning I thought it was going to be a children's story which is my favorite genre. Then when you went into the morale of the story I was surprised but thought the message was absolutely perfect.

The one thing I might suggest would be to just stick to one example. With such a small word limit, it's hard to focus on different Bible examples. They are great examples but I think you could put each one in it's own story.

I really did enjoy this. You covered the topic in a fresh way. I think the first part would be an outstanding idea for a children's devotion. If you would like a mote thorough critic feel free to PM. I could see this being a great addition to a children's magazine. It needs a bit of polishing but has great potential. You left me with a lot to think about. Your message is perfect especially with the shape the world is in right now.

Keep writing. God is using you to tell stories that will impact more people than you can imagine and in different ways than you might suspect.
Catrina Bradley 08/19/12
I have to admit, I was so enthralled with the story at the beginning, I was disappointed when you broke into a lesson. (The transition might have been smoother.) But the more I read, the more I understood the story of the stork and the fox. And by the end I didn't want to stop reading. Thank you for this blessing today!