Sunday Lunch: Beef Rendang, Chicken Curry, Chicken Satay, Nasi Kuning, Onde-onde
New members of the Local Church normally get a good grounding in God’s word over three years – spending the first year in the Gospel of Mark (studying Jesus’ claims about himself and how he fulfilled the Old Testament in dying on the cross for our sins and rising again from the dead to prove that his claims were true), then in Paul’s Letter to the Romans (containing many tough doctrines, the toughest of which to our sinful minds being the absolute sovereignty of God), and lastly, having a Bible Overview (seeing God’s work through a certain strand of human history as set out in the Bible, revealing much about God and his character and his intention for the world). People then either choose the repeat this cycle or go on to a Central Focus group – looking at different books of the Bible (other than Mark and Romans) each year.
Each “evening” (Mark, Romans, Bible Overview, Central Focus x2) the relevant building is filled with at least 10 tables of more than 12 people eating, chatting, reading, and discussing Scripture. An incredibly vibrant sight. But because there is little time for interaction between tables, Sunday lunch was a good time for people to get to know each other better.
But it is not merely for social contact that we meet. Our responsibilities to the church family are numerous, for example:
6 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbour. 5 For each will have to bear his own load. (Galatians 6:1-5)
We are not meant merely to encourage each other by singing over-exaggerated praises of people’s right deeds, but also to encourage each other to keep to the narrow way until the Last Day. Says John Calvin:
It is a very appropriate exhortation to humanity when he calls the weaknesses or vices under which we labour “burdens”. For nature dictates to us that those who sink under a burden should be relieved. He enjoins us to bear their burdens – not to indulge or overlook the evils by which our brethren are pressed down, but rather to disburden them. And this can only be done by friendly and mild correction. There are many adulterers who would gladly make Christ a pander; thieves who would like to make Him a receiver; wicked criminals of all kinds who would like to make Him their patron; they all want to lay their burdens on the shoulders of believers. But since he connects bearing with restoring and repairing, the sort of bearing demanded of Christians is unmistakable.
The word “law” when applied to Christ represents an argument. There is an implied contrast between the law of Christ and the law of Moses, as if he said,”If you desire to keep a law [see context of Galatians], Christ enjoins on you a law which you can only prefer to all others; and that is, to cherish kindness towards each other. He who lacks this has nothing.” On the other hand he says that when everyone compassionately helps his neighbour, the law of Christ is fulfilled.
Beef rendang and onde-onde recipes started off as the expert ones from the plussixfive cookbook, but quickly degenerated into a hodgepodge of attempts to patch-up lack of proper ingredients (or rather the lack of time to source for proper ingredients).
Pandan leaves, torn and knotted
Generally, the Ethiopians, English, Malaysians, Punjabi-English, Singaporeans, Australians liked the lot, with the Malaysians and Singaporeans saying what a treat home-cooked home-tasting food was and one English person saying that beef rendang tasted like Christmas. Another English person though said it was all very foreign to her and restricted herself to the satay, after asking how she should get the meat off the skewers and how come chicken tasted so good (not having previously been informed of the concept of marinating meat). Must remember to prepare English people before non-roast lunches!
stewing beef (1.5 kg) from butcher £9
coconut milk £0.89
chicken drumsticks and thighs (4 kg) from butcher £5
garlic and onions £0.35
chicken thigh fillets (2.5 kg) £5
satay sauce £0.50
spices and flavouring £0.40
pandan leaves £1.72
glutinous rice flour £1.25
gula melaka £1
dessicated coconut £0.75
banana leaves £1.20
This fed about 18 people.