Sunday, July 16, 2017

Food in the Bible

"Take this Bread" is largely focused on the intersection between Christianity and food. Sara Miles, the author, describes her journey to becoming a Christian in midlife through her journeys working in restaurants and, eventually, running a food pantry. Her relationship with Christianity is largely mitigated through food, through communion and sharing food with others.

So what does the Bible have to say about food?

In the beginning, God created vegetarians. Adam and Eve lived in the garden and only ate what grew in the garden. However, Noah was allowed to eat animals, though not blood. Later on though, Moses was given lots of dietary rules and restrictions about the food the people of Israel were allowed to eat. (Today, following the scriptural rules for eating and drinking as described in the Hebrew Scriptures is known as keeping Kosher.) Unfortunately, these rules started creating problems for people. When Jesus was alive, he sometimes ate and drank things that broke Kosher laws. By the end of Acts, Peter has a vision that opens up the rules of eating and drinking fully.

The Bible has lots of stories of people eating and drinking together. It includes parables which help explain some of Jesus' teachings through food. We cannot allow different kinds of food to separate us from one another. Grounded in our common need for energy and sustenance, food is something that brings us together as people of God.

If you'd like to read more, here is one great article about food in the Bible by Scott Munger.