The Christmas Cake

I realized that He probably never had a perfect birthday cake (if they even did that in those days). Even His actual birthday was far from perfect…

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I had good intentions. The recipe looked easy enough, yet festive: chocolate orange cake. I figured this year the grandsons were old enough to enjoy a birthday for Jesus. And who doesn’t like chocolate? Even though I had been tempted by the beautiful little chocolate cake at Trader Joe’s, I decided to take the plunge myself. I pulled out the springform pan (which I had worked with before) and went at it.

I wasn’t prepared for the result! Even though my toothpick came out clean, something happened to part of the middle as it cooled on the rack! If the whole middle had sunk a little, it wouldn’t have been that bad. But there it was, a desperately misshapen birthday cake for Jesus. My efforts at patching it up just ended in making it worse: glaze sliding off one side, crumbs in the glaze . . . nothing I tried helped. Discouraged, pressured, and ready to pitch the thing and go spend $7.99 for that cute little TJ cake . . .

I remembered Jesus!

I realized that He probably never had a perfect birthday cake (if they even did that in those days). Even His actual birthday was far from perfect . . . no hospital, no doctor, no nursery with a clean crib and changing table, no doting relatives, no baby showers, no home sweet home, not even a room in a hotel; but rather a barn filled with animals, far from loved ones, with two teenaged parents, and unclean outcasts with their sheep for visitors! (Of course, God couldn’t resist throwing in a few angels and a star! But they were only visible to the few believing hearts.)

Something began to change in my attitude toward my cake. Now it was a picture, a metaphor, for my lovely Lord who wasn’t one of the beautiful people (kinda like my cake):

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
Isaiah 53:2, ESV

My cake began to speak to me of this glorious One who came to earth and put up with a broken, imperfect life for my sake:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt [pitched his tent] among [meta] us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 NASB, emphasis added

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God . . .emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant . . . and humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5–8 NASB

So I swallowed my pride and put a little crystal nativity on top. When it was time for dessert, I read the verses from Isaiah, and we sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. The funny thing is that it was actually delicious . . . kinda like Jesus, huh?

Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Psalm 34:8 HCSB



This is an updated edition of a post originally published on

Featured Image by Calum Lewis

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About the Author

Jan Loyd is a child of God, a disciple of Christ, a Jersey girl, a former nun, a teacher, and now a wife of 48 years, mother of two, grandmother of 5 boys and finally a baby girl...these are just some of the hats she wears or has worn. Her hat as teacher has seemed to be one she’s worn her entire adult life, ranging from teaching elementary school, homeschool, adult ESOL and GED language and writing. But along with all of these opportunities has been her favorite above all the rest: teaching women the Word of God in various ways, Precept Upon Precept and Bible Studies she’s developed by the grace and tutelage of God along the way. The heart of the message that she delights to share is that we are in union with the Living God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Currently you may find her on her devotional blog “A Branch in the Vine” where she shares several times a week and in her Bible Study/ devotional book The With-ness of our God: Relationship in Every Dimension.