14 May 2009

What shall we then eat?

Lately I've been taking a photo of the food on my plate before I eat it. Like keeping a diary, it has been revealing. For instance, I didn't know I ate so well. Food is one of those things that can slip by unaware in the blurred landscape of our daily existence. So it doesn't hurt to focus the camera there, take a photo and reflect on it.

Jesus had an interesting relationship to food. His disciples were reprimanded by religious officials because they picked grain on the sabbath day which was against religious law. Jesus himself, even after his resurrection, prepared and ate fish with his disciples. The fish became the early symbol of Christianity. Bread and wine became the sacred symbols of the sacraement of the Lord's supper. God uses ordinary food to reveal divine truth and make real connections to human beings.

No wonder then that the Apostle Paul speaks about the food that we eat. Here is what he says:

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. (Romans 14:1-4)

The point he wants to make is that we are not to judge one another based on what we eat (or whether or not we photograph our food before we eat it). Vegetarians, take note, please, and do not judge us who eat meat. The same goes for those who would judge the vegetarians. And of the course this principle extends beyond the issue of food. As Jesus said more than once, "Judge not that you be not judged."

Song for the day: "Grapefruit, Juicy Fruit" cover of Jimmy Buffet song on ukele by JTPokie >

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