At the very beginning, and all through the Bible. . .there are stories about food,
about all of the life changing with the bite of an apple,
about trading an inheritance for a bowl of stew,
about waking up to find the land littered with bread. . .
about a wedding where water turned to wine, Jesus’ first miracle,
about the very first Last Supper.
It mattered then, and it matters now,
possibly even more so
because it’s a way of reclaiming some of the things we may have lost along the way."
~Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine
I’m searching for Thanksgiving this year.
Somewhere it got broke for me.
Of course, I know when. The hairline fracture along a stress point had been in the bone near the joint for years, before it finally snapped.
And Thanksgiving slipped and fell into a chasm, threatening to snatch the table linen in its fall and drag all of the Holidays with it.
I’m talking about this. . . The great turkey enthroned tolling of the beginning of the Holiday season, when uncles and aunts put feet under one table, the childrens’ table in the kitchen was seated with squirmy, giggling little’uns, and the teens graduated from children’s table to adult table where we gladly received them, handsome and scarf tied and fresh from college and breathing deeply the essence of the season before returning to academic halls for finals. Steamy platters rolled from the kitchen and someone put Bing Crosby on the stereo so that strains of White Christmas wreathed the air with Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Santa’s long awaited sleigh, melting into an the afternoon crash and roar of football games in the den. And cooking began early in the kitchen, wooden table loaded with mixing bowls and yeasty dough, counters lined with pans perched one above the other waiting for a space in the double ovens, and the turkey brining in the icy water of summer’s cooler on the deck. Processors whirred the deviled eggs yellow and mixers creamed the potatoes, and someone laughed. Someone was always laughing. And there was something good, and holy, and sacred. God drew near.
The hairline fracture began with unbelief. It only took one. There was illness. Disagreements from the year showing up with the aluminum foiled dishes. Pies sank under the frustration and anxiety wrapped her apron around our waists and oven blew hot regret. One was played against the other, and the snapping occurred in one unknowing moment, like an iced tree limb finally giving way beneath its load of snow in the middle of one frosty night.
But here I see in the dim glow of Thanksgiving Past, the Tender One sits at the table and bids us come. The meal is sacred. The preparation is for receiving Him. He can make all things new. Let us sit at His feet and take from his hands the communion bread and sacrificial wine and let Thanksgiving rise anew.
And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new. . .Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”