This week we are walking from All Saints Day to All Saints Sunday, the first Sunday in November. Saints are people who have greatly blessed our lives and encouraged us on by their example and their love. We grieve their absence when we see pictures that carry strong memories. We keep little keepsakes around the house that remind us of them. Music may trigger strong memories also. Our five senses are receptors that hold strong memories.
One of our early quick trips to the States involved a meal at my parent’s house. Our eldest was perhaps six years old. My mother baked our favorite, baked chicken. Our son took one look at the dinner and asked, “Grandma, whose chicken was this?” He only knew chickens that ran in our pen! I’m guessing that if my siblings and I were to take a vote, my mom’s chocolate chip cookies would be near the top of favorite. Yup, I couldn’t just eat one. Her recipe is worn beyond readability. These memories are connected to taste.
Psalms 34:8 tells us, “O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.” It makes me think of that chocolate cookie melting in my mouth and the release of tension in my body as I experience the love. I think King David meant something like that. As we remember the saints we do grieve, missing them but we also sit and meditate on memories that take away the pain of loneliness and meaninglessness. They loved us and cared for us. God cares for us. When we go to communion, we kneel and receive the wafer and the cup and are commanded to remember. Jesus cared so much he shed his blood and gives us life. Jesus gave his body that builds and sustains us. Taste is important.
Paul deepens this connection between taste and sainthood in Hebrews 2:8,9, “As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them (humans), 9 but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Christ tasted death so we will not have to eternally die and perish. Wow, that is a meal worth celebrating.