• Beth Hildebrand

A beautiful mystery and dinner

I remember when I was about 10 years old, my mom threw a birthday party for me that included a Mystery Dinner. Thirty years later I asked my mom is she still had the menu. It only took her 30 seconds to pull it out of a drawer and read it to me.

So, I planned for our daughter to invite a few friend over to celebrate her birthday which included the Mystery Dinner.


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It’s where the food on the menu is given a “disguise” name so the friends don’t know what it is. The meal is served in four courses and the friends must choose what they want to be served at each course, not knowing what they’re ordering. And the menu included the utensils!


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My daughter’s first course was Shark’s Friend, Moon Goop, Shaky Foundation and Brown Cow and she was served goldfish, string cheese, Jello and ice cream. She had to eat her Jello and ice cream with no utensils. Another friend had to eat spaghetti with no utensils while others were lucky and ordered a fork at the same time. They had to make choices and then have to wait to see what was the outcome.

It was a beautiful mystery dinner to see the girls giggling with messy fingers and faces.

A favorite song of mine is “Beautiful Mystery”. I think the words beautifully describe everybody’s life.

I tried to know Every mystery Soon realized, no It was too much for me ‘Cause most things true Are simple and complex So it is with You What else should I expect

It’s true. There’s things in life that we’ll never know the answers to on this side of heaven even though we want to be know-it-alls. And sometimes we think we’re know-it-alls when we’re not.

Life can be simple and complex. The simplicity of it all is love. Yet isn’t there so much complexity in love? The two greatest commands Scripture tells us is to love God and love people. The simplicity of God is that He loves us deeply and He’s the only One – plain and simple. The complexity of Him…well, is like a mystery.

Yet, He wants us to still ask him questions…maybe that’s why he doesn’t give us all the answers immediately. So we’ll keep talking to him and keep asking so we’ll stay in fellowship with him.

There’s so many things I don’t know the answer to but want to. Why does there have to be war on the other side of the world and in our homes and hearts? Why does God allow school massacres? Why do I have to wait so long for Him to answer? Isn’t there a quicker way? The list can go on.

He doesn’t leave us hanging to aggravate us but instead He wants us to hang onto Him while we ask Him questions and wait for answers.

God wanted his people throughout the world to know the glorious riches of this mystery-which is Christ living in you, giving you the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27 GW)

Giving us the hope of glory. The holy mystery of God gives us glorious hope.

I recently read this statement by Frederick Buechner: “To say that God is a mystery is to say that you can never nail him down. Even on Christ the nails proved ultimately ineffective.”

Let that one marinate.

The nails couldn’t hold him down. This glorious mystery is beautiful in it’s holy way. There can be glory in all we see and feel and wonder. There’s no mystery in the ultimate love God has for us. He loves us. It’s plain and simple. It can be found. It can be felt. It can be seen.

Lord, Your Word says that you want us to know the glorious riches of this mystery – which is Christ living in us, giving us the hope of glory. Christ, live in us. Let us understand and have faith in the beauty of your holy mystery.

Joys to add to the count

#1523 childhood mystery dinner memories

#1524 giggles from crazy courses


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#1525 eating spaghetti with no utensils


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#1526 celebrating daughter’s 10th birthday

#1527 Paul’s donuts for breakfast for a birthday treat


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#1528 joy she had opening her keyboard gift


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#1529 celebrating our freedom


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#1530 daughter wanting to be a photographer

#1531 a new place to see fireworks with friends

#1532 rain held off for our 4th of July celebration

#1533 being there for friends in need

#1534 hard eucharisteo – seeing friend off to overseas to serve our country but thankful for his willingness.

#1535 husband putting in a new door

#1536 daughter being asked to teach her peers about the importance of God’s Word

#1537 her willingness and boldness to do teach

#1538 family movie night


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(And by the way…if you’re interested, here’s the menu I used for the mystery dinner if you’d ever like to try it!)

Red and Green Wheels – tomatoes and cucumbers

Night Sighter – carrots

Pucker Upper – pickle

Shakey Foundation – jello

Shark’s friends – goldfish

Evening Tumbler – rolls

Thimbles – raspberries

Moon Goop – string cheese

Streamers and Balloons– spaghetti and meatballs

Three paths – fork

Silver ladle – spoon

Butcher’s Delight – knife

Chip off the Old Block – toothpick

Drooler’s Delight – napkin

Brown Cow – chocolate ice cream

Instant Refresher – lemonade

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