Marriage – the final sacrament in this series and, at least for now, my favorite.
I think that’s because, out of all the sacraments, I know what this one looks like in my every day life. I rarely baptize anyone and too often I forget to stand by my sick and hurting friends. But every single day I wake up married.
But maybe it’s also because this sacrament seems to hold all of the others within itself. My husband and I eat together each day (communion), and every day we welcome the other a little deeper into our hearts (confirmation). We encourage each other to step out (holy orders), support one another through joy and pain (anointing of the sick), and spill the secrets of our hearts (confession). As for baptism? Maybe that’s the very beginning. The moment when you leave the old life behind for the new.
Or maybe I’m trying too hard. Maybe it’s just my favorite because I like being married. In Searching for Sunday Rachel Held Evans writes that if God’s only grace to her in this life is marrying her husband, it will be enough. I can say the same about my husband.
Whatever the reason may be, I’ve illustrated my favorite sacrament with my favorite feathered symbol of marriage – the albatross.
Albatrosses are the most faithful of all birds. They choose their partner carefully, and they return to that partner over and over again for the rest of their lives. I love that image. To me marriage is a choice to return, over and over again, every day.
And maybe that is what the sacraments are. A choice to return, over and over. A choice to remember when we share a meal, a choice to stand by a hurting friend, a choice to welcome strangers with open arms.
A choice to practice faithfulness over and over again, every day.
This series was inspired by Rachel Held Evans’ book, Searching for Sunday.
If you’re interested in prints from this series, you can find them here.