by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM December 15, 2019
Once in a while, a misreading or misdirection can become an invitation to explore. While praying the intercessions that are included in the daily Scripture reflections I use, I misread one addressed as “Saving God, in your light we see light” and read it instead as “Savoring God…” I caught the difference almost immediately but remained enchanted by the image of a God who not only saves, but savors.
So much of our human savoring involves the senses: drinking in the rose-gold of a spectacular sunset; being stunned into silence by the soaring notes of a string quartet; appreciating the softness of newly laundered sheets or relishing the last few bites of (here name your favorite dish). We savor emotionally as well: the lingering embrace of a loved one; the encouraging hand on our shoulder; the words genuinely spoken in praise or affirmation or the uninhibited hug and kiss of a grandchild.
We know how savoring figures in our lives, but just how does the Holy One savor? For that answer, we can point to Jesus, the Word made flesh, the one who fully inhabited our human form, the one who makes visible what a savoring God might look like. This God relishes dinner with friends like Martha and Mary, with outsiders like Zaccheus, and with his followers in one last poignant Passover meal. This God is moved by a woman whose compassion impels her to enter the confines of a male-only gathering and touch his loneliness, wash his feet, anoint his head. This God appreciates fields of lilies and swallows flying overhead. This God relishes fish cooked over a charcoal fire and bread shared in his disciples’ company.
I imagine Jesus, fully human like us, also savoring acts of spaciousness of heart and generosity and profound trust: a leper whose gratitude impelled him to turn back and voice his thanks; a widow dropping her last precious coins into the temple treasury; a criminal gathering his final painful breath and confidently asking to be remembered.
And what of us in our time and place? I simply can’t imagine or believe in a God who is beyond savoring our courage when we speak up for someone being ridiculed or bullied, or a God who doesn’t delight when a parent puts fatigue aside to sit with a weeping child. This God rejoices over our struggle to forgive and our efforts to find a few minutes of stillness to sit with the Divine.
We’re about to celebrate once again the blessed convergence of the human and the divine in the birth and life of Jesus. May we learn from this savoring God to notice and offer thanks for Presence and presence and presents. Christmas blessings!
Sit in stillness with the Holy One.
Call to mind one thing you appreciate about being human.
Savor this blessing and tell the Holy One why you delight in it.
Give thanks and welcome Jesus who comes once again into the human family this Christmas.
So many of you have shared with me the ways you appreciate my blog posts through Mining the Now. Know how very grateful I am for your support and encouragement. May you and all those you love experience every blessing of this Christmas season.
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