Among the myriad gifts I'm grateful for, today and every day, is the gift of artistry, our God-given ability to share in creating the world, not out of nothing, but out of those things which He created from the beginning to be good, to be put to good use by us, created to reflect His glory by participating in His creative life. The art of storytelling, in its various forms, including the cinematic, is a way of reordering creation, of giving inarticulate creation a voice, of discovering in creation God's word for us. The art of cooking is another gift, and can be a way of transforming our awareness of and appreciation for the world around us, of turning it into a means of communion with God and His creation and each other, and a cause for giving thanks to God for His creation and each other. These forms of artistic expression, the narrative and the culinary, come together most perfectly in the 1987 Danish film, "Babette's Feast." It is itself cause for celebration and thanksgiving because, through the collaborative story-telling genius of author Karen ("Isak Dinesen") Blitzen and director Gabriel Axel, we see for ourselves, with the eyes of the heart, the sacred at the heart of a meal, prepared with self-emptying love, received in loving gratitude.
If you haven't seen "Babette's Feast," you are hereby directed to correct that failing at your earliest convenience, and certainly no later than Christmas. It's for your own good. It will make your celebration of Christmas a richer one. In fact, I'm so certain you will thank me for it, you're already welcome!
Unconvinced? Go to the link below and watch New York Time's film critic A.O. Scott offer his appreciation of the film. Consider it an appetizer.
A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours!