O dear, this glorious season of wonder has once again drawn me into too much to-do! Somewhere between the most wonderful time of the year and glory in the highest is an exaggeration of what I can possibly accomplish. However, as the angel commands, Fear not! This is the promised land of hyperbole, designed to emphasize that God has done what only he can accomplish.
[Christ Jesus] made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name
Philippians 2:9 NIV*
O Gardeners of God’s Word, we know where to go in exaggerated situations: Mustard Seeds! Jesus’ botanical metaphor for God’s possibilities in the face of our impossibilities.
It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.
Mark 4:31-32 NIV*
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
Matthew 17:20 NIV
The gift hidden in hyperbole is humor, evidenced in Abraham and Sarah’s laughter when told they would become parents past the age of childbearing. Let Jesus’ mustard seed hyperboles compel you to plant them in the garden, a brave and joyous embarking to all that may become. These beauties have become my favorite Bible plants (well, they are all my favorites!) for their surprising flavor and hardy culture. If there is such a thing as an easiest vegetable to grow, mustard greens answer the call! Pictured above is ‘Ruby Streaks,‘ a variety from Botanical Interests. Their deep purple, lacy leaves add a little snowflake pattern to the top of my egg casserole. O what fun it is to laugh and play…with good things from the garden! A great way to remember God and trust him in all that needs to be done.
A Christmas Gift
My Christmas gift to you is my mother’s recipe, a tasty dish for Christmas morning full of possibilities – improvise with whatever you love from the garden, meat counter, or leftovers.
Charlotte’s Christmas Morning Eggs
Those of you who know her know that the best gift I could gift you is something from my mother’s kitchen
4 eggs, beaten
2 C. milk
2 C. grated cheese plus ¼ C. for top
2 C. bread cubes
1 T. Worchester sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Ideas for adding flavor:
½ C. sautéed leeks, shallots, and/or chives
2 C. dandelion, mustard, and/or spinach greens
¾ lb. cooked bulk sausage and/or chopped bacon
½ C. chopped herbs – parsley, thyme, basil, sage
Other possibilities: diced broccoli, grated zucchini, chopped peppers, onions, cumin, nigella, kale, beet greens…
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease casserole dish with cooking spray, butter, or olive oil
Sauté any alliums & brown any meats, then set aside to cool slightly
In medium bowl, scramble eggs
Add milk, cheese, and Worchester and stir briefly for even mixture
Add in all other flavor additions and stir again until mixed evenly
Salt and pepper to taste
Spread bread cubes across bottom of casserole dish
Pour egg mixture over bread
Sprinkle additional cheese on top
Adorn the top with herb or mustard leaves just for fun
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes – do not overcook
Casserole will rise slightly when cooking
Let stand 5 minutes before serving
OK to prepare the night before and refrigerate until baking
These quantities serve 6 and fit in an 8” round baking dish – double or multiply as needed for your Christmas crowd
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.
Luke 2:14 NIV*
Prayer: O Lord, you alone are the most high God (Psalm 9:2).May I look to you and your joy to bring everything together this season. May your favor rest upon us, and may your love bless my family and friends forever! You are our God, and we are your people, and this is the best gift of all.
* emphasis added
Photo Credits: ©2014 Shelley S. Cramm
‘Ruby Streaks‘ mustard in a Texas winter garden
A mustard snowflake decorates Charlotte’s Christmas Morning Eggs
Find more information about the Bible plants mentioned here in our Plant Guide: