The feast of the Epiphany is today and I ‘m tying in a simple dinner of lamb and rice to represent a typical Persian meal.
I’m setting the atmosphere and tone of the meal, by serving dinner on a low table over our Persian rug. Our friends the Riemann’s were over for bible study one night and Curt had a stunned look as he looked at our sofa. “I have the perfect rug for you in our garage, it matches nothing in our home now that we’ve redecorated.”
Hence our most lavish material gift given by dear friends lays under our feet every day. Heather and Curt brought me a chocolate cake late one evening on my birthday. There was a soft knock at my door, my daughter asleep, husband on a trip and there they were. I cried I was so overcome they knew my birthday. I was new in town and felt very alone. Heather is one of my favorite people to cry with, our hearts break for the same things, we also laugh, but many tears, so many tears. She and Curt are living treasures who love well with Christ-like love. The most lavish of gifts.
The three wise men and their lavish gifts must have been familiar with the Davidic promise to know to travel to Israel. It seems they knew the Scriptures better than the Jews themselves, certainly better than King Herrod. Perhaps they were Persians, descendants of the great empire of Persian King Cyrus who granted permissions centuries earlier to some of the Jews to return and rebuild their holy temple in the city of Jerusalem fulfilling the prophecy. ( Ezra 1:1-3) But the Bible does not state where they came from, only that they came from the East. Resting our feet on our colorful persian rug and enjoying a traditional Middle Eastern meal of lamb, we will read about these Magi, wise men, scholars from the East, remembering that where Israel missed the birth of their king, these men went to extraordinary lengths to come and worship him.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory – this was during Herod’s kingship – a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on a pilgrimage to worship Him.” Matthew 2: vs. 1-2 The Message
Rub lamb with kosher salt, olive oil and coat with minced garlic.
The next layer is mint. Completely coat over the garlic with mint. A jar of dried mint will do if fresh is not available.
Place lamb on a roasting rack in the oven at 425 degrees , reduce heat to 325 and continue to cook till internal temp is around 165-175 degrees.
Serve garnished with rosemary or mint sprigs.