I confess have a favorite movie—Babette’s Feast*. Like Jesus, Babette prepared a feast for a village of enemies—of each other. The table is set with mercy, peace and reconciliation. I hope you’ll watch it someday. Near the end, Old Lorens, a surprising character in the story, offers a great toast…
“Mercy and truth have met together. Righteousness and bliss shall kiss one another. Man, in his weakness and shortsightedness believes he must make choices in this life. He trembles at the risks he takes. We do know fear. But no. Our choice is of no importance. There comes a time when our eyes are opened and we come to realize that mercy is infinite. We need only await it with confidence and receive it with gratitude. Mercy imposes no conditions. And lo! Everything we have chosen has been granted to us. And everything we rejected has also been granted. Yes, we even get back what we rejected. For mercy and truth have met together, and righteousness and bliss shall kiss one another.” —Old Lorens Lowenhielm, Babette’s Feast
*Rated ‘G’, French-Danish, with subtitles
“If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.” —Chaplain John Akers, PCLEC
What God is doing is greater than we know, even when it hurts. He never told His kids that life in Him was bliss—quite the opposite. But He said He’d be there when life hurts—and He still binds up the broken-hearted. Yours, too.
It’s been a rough year for many, and as Thanksgiving arrives there are empty chairs at the feast and many bruised hearts that find it hard to sing.
“If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.” —Senior Chaplain John Akers
God is not just with the brokenhearted, He is for them, and He will even be glorified in the hurt.
“Without God, what does being “thankful” really mean? Does it have any meaning at all, even in the moment?” —Pastor Jack Abeelen
This week we Americans will feast and give thanks. We don’t thank the earth for giving us food or life—our planet doesn’t give us anything on purpose. We don’t laude over a dead bird for its contribution to our waistlines—it didn’t die for our dining pleasure—it cared for nothing beyond its own survival. George Washington didn’t decree a national feast to thank a cook or he might have named it “Thank-a-Cook Day”.
Thanksgiving Day is the great why, when we’re reminded to thank the One Who gave us all good things—especially His Son to die in our place—not because we are good but because, to the Lord God Almighty, King of the Universe, we’re significant. That is tremendous.
Bernard of Clairvaux was sainted because he loved Jesus, but everyone who follows Jesus is a saint, too. How can you tell? They are completely taken by Him, they do what He says because they love Him and they are thankful—really thankful. Like St. Bernard…
What language shall I borrow to thank You, dearest Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end;
O, make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be;
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for Thee.
I sometimes think about the cross and shut my eyes and try to see
The cruel nails, the crown of thorns and Jesus crucified for me;
But even could I see Him die, I would but see a little part
Of that great love, which like a fire, was always burning in His heart.
—Bernard of Clairvaux
Thank you, Jesus.