Tuesday, November 20, 2012

take... eat... drink... share... repeat

Welcome to Thanks-gratitude at Maul Hall
I’m taking my closing line from yesterday’s post as today’s title because – more often than not – sometimes I don’t really know what I’m writing about until I conclude, sign off, and click “publish.”
“Oh!” I’ve been heard to exclaim, “so that must be what this was all about.”
“Click to publish” is a little more immediate and rewarding than the 18-months or so it takes to get a new book from conception to the shelves. Instant is good – but instant can also be flawed.
Maybe not so much flawed as it is a work in progress. I often say that reading this blog is like looking over my shoulder while I’m having my morning devotions with God. And, like any good conversation, I tend to circle around, back up, then finally hone in on what I’m really thinking after a few passes.
Maul Hall feast 2011
GRATITUDE: Today and tomorrow will be full with prep work for Thanksgiving. By “prepare” I mean buy food; cook; buy more groceries; cook some more; invite more people; buy more stuff; clean; iron napkins; buy more food; polish silver; set tables for 18 … no,21 … no, 24 … no, 25… buy more groceries… repeat….
So I have been thinking about it, on the way to and from the grocery store, and I realize that Thanksgiving is very much like the celebration of Communion at church (The Lord’s Supper, Mass, Sacrament). We come together; we share a meal in the context of gratitude; we remember; and then we go back into our routine lives blessed because of the experience.
  • Thanksgiving is – at its best – sacramental.
Jesus used the occasion of the Last Supper to talk with his friends about what was really important, and most of us tend to take that cue when it comes to the Thanksgiving feast. We sit around a long table, piled high with such bounty and goodness, we drink in the beauty of the occasion, we share stories, and we remember; we remember what it means to be who we are.
For I received from the Lord the teaching that I passed on to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in memory of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup and said, “This cup is God’s new covenant, sealed with my blood. Whenever you drink it, do so in memory of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-35
BOUNTIFUL GOODNESS: I don’t know what your plans are for celebration, but I hope and pray that it involves bountiful goodness, the sharing of warm memories, the beginnings of new stories, and the promise of more blessings to come. I pray that everything is experienced in the context of gratitude. And I pray that the knowledge of the love of God runs through your Thanksgiving as the deep truth that holds everything together.
2011 – Naomi and my mum with Geoff, and with new life, David
There are people we’re going to miss here at Maul Hall – those like my brother Geoff and Rebekah’s parents, who are no longer living, and those like Andrew and his fiance, Alicia, who live so very far away. But – like The Lord’s Supper and the communion of the saints – they will all be very much a part of our gathering, our remembering, and our joy.
In gratitude, always – DEREK

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