food and faith
Jesus risked being called a glutton and a drinker. Why? How come the church loved to eat together? What have food and faith to do with each other?
Jesus valued food
Jesus, being the resurrected Christ, shows up at the beach, grilling fish. The disciples walking to Emmaus recognized Jesu when he was breaking bread. Even when he was giving the promise of the Holy Spirit, they where probably eating together. (Acts 1:4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to leave from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, … –> The word for staying could also be translated with “eating together with”) His new body transcended walls, time, places. How would he need food? Yet the one that now has all authority in heaven and earth, wanted to sit down with his friends and eat and drink.
The early church valued food
The early church would make it a point to eat together regularly. It’s described as a daily habit. The church it seems, prayed as much as they ate together.
why do food and faith get together?
Why are food and faith so closely linked? Here are 3 main ideas about it:
The first call to the non-jewish (that’s you and me), was food related. God wanted Peter to connect with gentiles, and used a food related vision. This was maybe also why Peter got the idea. You can’t really hold a distance and eat regularly with someone at the same time. Food connects.
2) Generosity & Gratefulness
Acts 2:46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts. Food can be plain nourishment, or it can be an expression of common care and generosity.
Food slows things down. It creates space. My Pastor, Simon McIntyre, often says: “There is revelation shared at the table.” Food creates a space where conversations can go deeper, while they don’t have to be packed in a formal speech. A lot of Jesus’ revelations happened around food. Don’t separate what Jesus put together all the time!
Practical thoughts for our situation:
Our welcome team is a sermon:
• Respect: The effort put into the nibbles after church send a signal of excellency and hospitality. It is as spiritual as the songs we sing, the prayers we pray!
• Help: Ask them, how you can help!
Connect Groups that eat together…:
• make it enjoyable on the long run: It doesn’t have to be Instagram worthy, (no harm if it is). Share the responsibility.
• Is there a limit?: It’s true, I too struggle to pray full on with chicken wings in my mouth. There needs to be a place of respect for prayer, worship and scripture. But if we stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit we will find a healthy balance.
Parties & Events
• Events create a lot of work. The fruit is not always visible right away, but over time it shows. Some regular attenders, become a sustaining part of the church after attending an event or party. Apparently Racclette speaks louder than a mission statement flyer.
• If we don’t celebrate our victories, we will only remember our losses. It’s vital that we celebrate regularly.
• Join the team.
• Communion has been neglected, less because we didn’t see the value, more because we didn’t organize it. We would love to start monthly communion at every first Sunday of the month. Who would like to join this team?