Today is Sunday, the last day of my “eating from the land” diet. This has been a week of exercising discipline; it has been a week of connecting more intimately to the land around me. It has been a humbling week, realizing what I don’t have, how weak my body is when I eat less, especially bugs and no coffee.
I think this week has changed me a bit. Hopefully I will get back in the pattern of eating well and being more conscientious about my food choices. Most are free to choose what they eat and don’t eat. Many have few food options and many more can’t afford or won’t eat at all today. Food should not be taken for granted. Food is a gift, given to us by a Creator who gives out of his abundance. I think that when we eat we need to stop and recognize this gift, recognize how our food is produced and where it comes from; we need to remember others who don’t have the luxuries and options we have. Maybe this will help us to make better food choices. One of the best ways we can make the world a better place is by choosing what we put in our mouths or don’t put in our mouths.
I had fun celebrating at a wedding last night, eating with new and old friends. Food is a wonderful thing. I enjoyed it. What we eat affects our health; it affects our mood. We need calories to survive. We need the meal. Well it’s Sunday and I am a pastor, so I think I should share a little differently today, cause there is a Great Meal coming, a banquet where all peoples, classes and cultures will be represented, the marriage supper of the Lamb, a meal of shalom, whole peace, a meal of abundance for all God’s people, a meal of justice, where no one will be without food, a table where there is a seat for everyone. This is not a meal that we have prepared or a utopia that we have built. It is a meal and a table that has been given to us. So let’s live and eat rightly now as we await that meal.
We eat for survival, but we also eat when connecting to others. Sharing a meal is an event to be celebrated, a time to slow down, a time to enjoy one another’s company. It has been said that the family who prays together stays together. Beyond that, I believe that a family who eats together stays together.
After church today, our family came home and we made an event out of the meal. We all worked together to make it. My two oldest children joined me in the garden to harvest some items for our meal. We picked a few different herbs, okra (the okra never made it out of the garden because my daughter ate it all), tomatoes, and some greens. Catherine and I spent the next hour in the kitchen making the meal together just talking and hanging out.
For our lunch/dinner (we didn’t eat till after 3pm) we ate lamb burgers mixed with sage, oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary, and onions. On the side we had had thinly sliced fried potatoes and a kale, collard and tomato sauté. Everybody cleared his plate. It was a good meal and a great time.
Did you know that the word companionship means, “to eat bread with others”? Well, we didn’t eat bread, but we enjoyed food together and took pleasure in knowing that our meal was just, a product from the full work of our hands, given to us from a productive, healthy and growing place. We are dependent upon the land; we are not separate from it. We share this place together, with people, animal and plant, a place treated with equity.