"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

“Heart and Soul”

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)

It was a large rock tied in a net of rope, to be tipped off the bow of our small sailboat into the warm, shallow waters on the leeward side of Windmill Point.  Though indeed we would ‘drag’ a bit, it was secure enough to ensure that we could go for a swim without danger of being stranded. 

The anchor, along with images of the Good Shepherd and the ichthys, was among the early Christian symbols found in the Roman catacombs.  Likely taken from the verses above, it remains as a symbol of the hope we have in Christ beyond our earthly journey.  We name that hope and promise ‘eternal life’.  The anchor represents, of course, the Cross. This hope is not, however, limited to whatever happens after our last breath.  This is the hope, the crux of our faith in Christ, that imparts strength and security throughout our lives. We may drift, sin, doubt, distance ourselves from the church, or from God, but when we wake up to the reality of the disconnect, we will find God is waiting, lovingly and with open arms, to welcome us back.

This old Methodist hymn(which must be sung with a Scottish accent) speaks to this symbol:

Will Your Anchor Hold by Pricilla Owens (1829-1907)

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life; When the clouds unfold their wings of strife? When the strong tides lift and the cables strain, Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

Refrain: We have an anchor that keeps the soul; Steadfast and sure while the billows roll, Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

Culinary Musings: Do you ever buy a bag of frozen shrimp, when it’s $5. off?  In a pan, sauté a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and some dried chili flakes in olive oil.  Add ½ can(or more, depending on how many servings you want) of diced tomatoes and let it cook a bit.  If you have  parsley, basil, sherry peppers, toss some in. Add the shrimp(thawed, tails removed)and heat gently.  Sometimes canned tomato needs a touch of sugar or maple syrup to temper the acid. Serve on fresh polenta(Italian grits): Heat 4 cups water( or 3 plus 1 cup chicken stock or milk). When just at the boil, slowly whisk in 1 cup cornmeal. Turn down heat and continue whisking until it is smooth and reduced.  Remove from heat. Add a bit of butter and some finely grated parmesan cheese, if possible.  Top with the shrimp, more cheese and parsley.