By Chuck Sackett
The menu—dated 2 April 1912—offered a choice of consommé mirrette, sweetbreads, spring lamb, and braised ham. When the menu went to auction in 2004 (92 years after the actual meal) it was expected to produce a record sale for Titanic memorabilia. It did, selling for 51,000 pounds.
The original menu was sent from Ireland by Fifth Officer Harold Lowe to his future bride, Ellen Whitehouse. Lowe figured as one of the heroes the night of April 14, 1912. He was responsible for filling a number of life rafts with women and children, actually using his pistol to ward off men trying to get aboard before the women. Lowe finally was sent aboard Lifeboat 14 and was rescued by the RMS Carpathia along with those in his lifeboat and five other boats he shepherded through the North Atlantic.
It seems absurd that a folded piece of print, a listing on paper of what was served at the officers’ table, could possibly be worth so much money. It’s odd what people deem so incredibly valuable. What could possibly make it worth so much?
The menu—dated Passover, AD 30—offered a choice of bread, wine, herbs, and lamb. The focal point of the meal pointed toward the bread and wine. This meal, like that on the Titanic, was limited to just a few. It also occurred just hours before tragic events for which this crew was unprepared.
The menu from the Titanic remained hidden in the archives of the Lowe family until time for the auction. Its proceeds will benefit the family heirs. Our menu, in fact, our meal, has been served every Sunday since the resurrected Christ went to the Father.
There’ll be no sale of a printed menu; no family will benefit from its monetary proceeds. But the cost is certainly greater than that of Lowe’s menu. The cost of this menu was the life of the Son of God himself. And the benefit . . . well the benefit goes to all who believe in that Son.
Chuck Sackett serves as preaching minister with Madison Park Christian Church, Quincy, Illinois, and professor of preaching at Lincoln (Illinois) Christian University.