“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“The shared meal elevates eating from a mechanical process of fueling the body to a ritual of family and community, from the mere animal biology to an act of culture.”
– Michael Pollen
I love food, so I have to possess a theology that encompasses it.
We live in a culture where food (cooking, preparing, eating, etc) is glorified. We have a tv channel dedicated to it. We spend more and more money every year on it. It is a common passion and function. It’s a routine in my life and it can be a centerpiece of conversation with complete strangers.
Seriously, you can walk into a room with complete strangers and yell “tacos or pizza?!”, and watch how everyone has an opinion.
Food’s universalism is one of the things that makes food Holy. It may be the only experience that Warren Buffet and a homeless man can share. Food isn’t bias or prejudice. Eating isn’t reserved for the wealthy, educated, and affluent. The meal is an arena where all can sit and enjoy.
Jesus knew this. The Pharisees knew this. I’m starting to understand this. I can share a meal with anyone, and I mean anyone. I can’t share all my experiences with everyone because there are things that can get in the way, but not food. I could eat with a blind man that only speaks Cantonese. I’m not saying it would be easy, but it could be done.
As this starts to permeate into my Theologies, I start to see that the meal is sacred and a gift. It’s powerful because it can allow me to see people as the same. It allows me to bridge differences with others and it fortifies my home with the four I share the majority of meals with.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common.