On Sunday, I spoke a little about Sacrament, and shared with it the definition I had learned from on of my favourite singer/songwriters, Andrew Peterson: a sacrament is an outward sign of an inner reality. To put it another way, a sacrament is tangible sign of a spiritual reality. You can touch and taste the bread and wine at communion which speak to eternal life given to us through the laying down of Jesus’ life.
In his song, My One Safe Place, Andrew refers to his wife as a sacrament, he sings: I know that you’re broken too, but you are a sacrament, God has spoken through!
And I’ve been thinking a lot in the last few days about that. About the fact that all of us have people who are sacraments in our lives. For many (I hope!) it is your spouse – the person who you’ve chosen to ‘do life’ with for the rest of our lives.
But as an unmarried person, I can tell you I have friends and family, far and wide, who are sacraments to me. Friends who build me up and encourage me when I’m feeling low or doubtful about my own abilities. A whole congregation that finds spiritual guidance through my efforts (Woah! No pressure!), but who also walk with me on the journey of faith. And then family – both the ones I was born to, and the one who have adopted me along the way. (And now that I’m writing this, I suddenly think of all my colleagues who work alongside of me in our denomination and in other denominations, who share their wisdom, experience, perspective and creativity.)
I know a lot of living sacraments!
But I’ve also been thinking of sacramental moments. How do I explain this well? Many of you (especially if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram) know that I love sunsets. I am blessed to have lived for the better part of three years in a condo that faces West. I get to see some extraordinary sunsets. And in the midst of the pandemic, sitting and watching the sun sink below the horizon, watching the way the light plays and the colours change, has become a moment of sacrament for me. A moment when I feel the closeness and blessing of God. A moment when the light shines so brilliantly and I remember again that the darkness has not overcome it.
So I thought I’d share with you a gallery of some of my favourite sunsets from the past 46 days in quarantine (I’m always home to see them, now!):
And until tomorrow, dear friends, I encourage you to think about your sacramental moments (maybe it’s a chat with a friend, or listening to music, or simply sitting in silence), and name (and give thanks for!) your sacramental people.