Is Thanksgiving a sacrament? Is it still a sacrament when it falls on November 28 and you know that, on November 30, you will be losing your job?
Set out with me on this journey, as I have just undertaken it, never having done it before!
The contract I worked on for the Navy was rebid and, after much rather suspicious interplay between six or seven bidders, a new company got the contract, then promptly rehired mostly the members of a rival team we have worked with over the past four or five months. Our military commands merged over the summer, so they suddenly had duplicates for almost every civilian position on our contract. I can’t say I blame the new person in charge (from the rival company) for keeping his own people and letting us go . . . tribalism usually trumps just about everything else.
The reason I can say that and not grow bitter is not because the behavior of these companies was ethical. It certainly doesn’t pass the “smell test,” although I have nothing tangible to prove that it crossed any lines. Since the contract was subsequently contested, we will see whether the government comes up with anything tangible to prove unethical behavior. This is far beyond my paygrade at the moment!
No, the reason I can say that I am able to move on is because I serve a great God who has never let me down yet. He knew this was going to turn out this way and He let it. Since I am only 55 and at the peak of my health, ever, I know He still has some things for me to accomplish in this life. So it is up to me to find that next “something.” I am encouraged . . .
Meanwhile, I am seeing sacraments everywhere. I looked up the definition of “sacrament” and also read why denominations like Baptists (my own) do not use that word about ceremonies that occur in a church setting. Episcopalians have “sacraments” at church; we have “ordinances.”
That does not mean that Baptists don’t acknowledge the existence of sacraments. We just define them as things God does, while ordinances are things man does.
See the fine point of difference? And see why I can say my life is full of sacraments right now? God has done so much for me. God is doing so much for me. Often in the stillness, often in the silence, but I know His love and it surrounds me, always.
One sacrament is the very great blessing of being able to turn to cooking. In our land of abundance, even the very poorest can afford low cost raw ingredients to turn into wonderful, nutritious meals.
It is a blessing to live in the midst of abundance, to be able to afford that abundance, and to be able to turn that abundance into feasts.
This week alone I have built three feasts from scratch, two prior to Thanksgiving. Some people call that “clean eating” (the absence of prepackaged foods). I call it a sacrament and a delight.
It is warmth. It is creativity. It is beauty, visually, and in the tastes that emanate from my cooking.
I love it. And, in a world that may seem a bit out of control right now, that centers me.
Bless the Lord!
Enjoy the recipe for cornbread dressing, above. I changed it so much (because I had vastly different ingredients) that I will have to try it another time to see what it is really like!