The Medieval Banquet on which I have worked night and day for weeks and months is over! I am singing the Hallelujah Chorus, and if I weren’t so exhausted, I’d be dancing a jig, too! It turned out beautifully! From the transformation of our gym into a castle, to the food, to the entertainment, our vision came to life last night.
The entrance into our Family Center was awesome and got people excited about the evening to come the moment they walked in the door. They stepped into an Enchanted Forest with lights twinkling in the trees and a mist rising through the forest. They crossed over a draw bridge, where a brook ran below. Cattails growing along its banks, a turtle climbing out of the water, boulders here and there made the scene look so real. As the guests passed over the bridge, a castle tower, covered with ivy and roses, impressed as well—and then they entered the Great Hall of the castle.
The lights were low and candles placed in lanterns spread a soft glow over every table. The walls were decorated with the look of old stone, stained glass windows, torchlit stairways—but it was the royal table that was the focal point. Raised on a dais, the sixteen foot table was fit for a king, complete with a boar’s head, lots of gold and silver, velvet and gold lamé, and candles of all sizes. The stone wall behind towered over it almost fifteen feet high, topped with a row of richly painted shields and framed on either side with more gold lamé, banners, suits of armor and tall torches.
I had done most of the planning and organizing, computer work and creative writing for the banquet. My friend Debby had excelled in the awesome decorating. Neither of us claimed to have any great talent in cooking—at least not in cooking for hundreds of people! Somehow, it fell on my shoulders to cook—from scratch—beef, vegetable and barley soup and the roasted herbed potatoes, carrots and onions. It was with fear and trembling that I researched on the internet how to go about these herculean tasks (at least in my mind!) I had no idea which herbs and spices to use or in what ratios to use them. I took a page from my mother’s successes in the pies and other dishes she makes for others—she prays over them that the Lord will guide her hands. I prayed and prayed about that soup and those roasted vegetables!
The Lord answered with an angel in disguise—in fact many angels! A day or two ahead, the kitchen in the Family Center was filled with more than a dozen women washing and chopping vegetables! One lady, fairly new to our church, had worked in school kitchens for nearly forty years. I eagerly accepted her expertise and advice as my answer to prayer. The day of the banquet she was right there in the kitchen with me, making the soup and vegetables. She left the seasoning for both up to me, though. I prayed once more as I mixed the spices and herbs, and I tell you in all honesty—somehow the soup and vegetables came out perfectly! Delicious! Thank you, Lord—and Phyllis!
Through the door into the gym nearly two dozen other women and men were busy decorating. We were overwhelmed with all the folks who came out to help on Thursday. There were even some who could not come to the banquet itself but came to give us a hand anyway. There were some who stayed above and beyond working very, very hard. Later that night Bob brought home Chinese food for supper. Of course, I take no stock in fortune cookies, but I had to smile when I opened my cookie. The little slip inside said “You are surrounded by good friends today.” Yes, that had been so true, and they had all been so very encouraging and kind.
The entertainment was fun, beginning with the Mistress of Etiquette (me!) instructing the guests on proper (and improper) medieval etiquette. Trumpets heralded the entrance of the King and Queen and the rest of the royal party. They were in full costume, as were the entertainers and many of the guests. The skit began with a hilarious Court Jester, and moved on to the Cook and Kitchen Boy, followed by sword fights and jousting by a couple bungling knights (Bob was one of them!)
We wanted the entertainment to be more than just fun and silliness, though. Our vision was to have it be, as well, an exaltation of the King of Kings. After dinner we had a concert, beginning with a couple hymns on the harp—a very nice touch for a medieval banquet, don’t you think? A men’s quartet followed—and then there was our minstrel, a young man by the name of Nick Willett. Nick did a wonderful job in leading our praise of King Jesus, and also entertained in some lively gospel music from, shall we say, from the southern part of the kingdom? What a blessing!
The whole evening was a blessing! I think everyone enjoyed it all. It had been a long, hard process to get there, but in the end, it was worth it all. If it blessed the hearts of all who attended, if it blessed the heart of God, it was worth it all! In exaltation of the King of Kings I share these passages of Scripture::
Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. (I Chronicles 29:11)
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (I Timothy 1:17)
With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. (Psalm 98:6)
Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. (Psalm 148:11-13)
Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. (Psalm 45:6)
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:16)
And finally, just as a side note: I’ve already said I take no stock in fortune cookies, but it was funny when I opened the other fortune cookie this morning, the day after this huge event on which I had worked so hard for months. It said, “This is the time to start something new.” Are you kidding me??? Uh, I don’t think so! I’m taking a nice, long break! Don’t wake me up until at least Wednesday!