Have you noticed that food and eating appears all over the bible? The trees in the idyllic garden of eden had trees that were pleasant to the sight and good for food (Genesis 2:9). Heaven is the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-8). Jesus want us to remember Him through a meal (Luke 22:14-20). God invites us to taste His goodness by inviting us to a meal (Isaiah55:1-5; Luke 14:15-24 ). You get the general idea.
Why this biblical fixation with eating? Let me venture a few suggestions.
1. We need food to live. Eating is serious business. So is God’s love. We need that to live too.
2. Food is best eaten in good company. Eating at its best is a relational experience, a shared meal. What better metaphor for a relational Trinitarian God. What better reminder that a good life is defined by love of God and neighbour. Good food with good company is a foretaste of heaven.
Which is why the pizza and cake I had a few nights ago were truly sacramental. It was a manifestation of the presence and love of God.
It was the night before my birthday. I was in my “life sucks, nobody understands, I am so tired, leave me alone” frame of mind. I put the word out that I wanted to be alone.
But these guys knew how to penetrate my defences. The advance guard was a couple. Since they knew Soo Inn would always be open for any counselling type situation, their presence assured that I would be in. Then they sprung the trap. As I was regaling the forward scouts with J.I. Packer imitations, the other saints suddenly appeared and sang happy birthday. I was stunned.
The angels brought with them home made pizza and birthday cake. (They even got the number of candles correct. No I am not telling. But those who have been following this column for more than a year will be able to do their own calculations.)
It was a special evening. It was a divine evening. The surprise party did exhaust my meagre stock of wine but hey, one mustn’t be greedy.
Thank you dear friends.
We need food. We need friends. We need God. So thanks again. Thanks for the sacramental pizza.