FOOD CONNECTS

Would you like a simple way to improve your life?

Take a break!

There once was a young lumberjack who had become quite proud of his speed at cutting down trees. He got to the point that he felt he was ready to challenge an older lumberjack, who was also known for his ability, to a tree-cutting contest. 

Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 2.40.49 PMSo they began chopping. The younger man went at it with all his vigor. He chopped down one tree after another without stopping the whole day. He thought things looked pretty good for him because he noticed that the older lumberjack took about a fifteen-minute break every hour. He would sit down, eat a snack, and talk with his friends. 

But at the end of the day, the older lumberjack had chopped down one-third more trees than the younger man. Somewhat miffed and puzzled, the younger man went to the old master of forestry and asked, “How in the world could you cut down more trees than me taking a fifteen-minute break every hour?” The wise older lumberjack looked at him and said, “Because when I stopped cutting, I took time to sharpen my ax.”

A lot of us chop away all the time, and then wonder why the trees aren’t falling. We look at other people who don’t seem to be working half as hard as we are, yet they seem to be making a lot more progress. Maybe the difference is they have taken time to sharpen their ax. We all need to take a break. We all need to take time to sit down, have a meal, and connect with people.


Food connects. 

bigstock-141658667-800x526Did you know that the word “companion” comes from the Latin “cum” (“together”) and “panis” (“bread”)? Companionship literally means coming together for bread. Companionship is a big part of sharing a meal. Someone we share food with is more likely to be our friend, or at least on the way to becoming one. Food connects us with family, turns strangers into friends, and connects us with people around the world. 

Robert Putman reveals that there’s been a 33 percent decrease in families eating together over the last three decades. And more than half of those families are watching television as they eat. Over the same period of time, there’s been a 45 percent decline in people entertaining friends in their homes. You are what you eat, people say. Tim Chester says that we express who we want to be through food. When things go wrong, food becomes a place of comfort. Food is so much more than fuel. 

Food connects. 

Our life at the table can help us encounter the mystery of God and His desire to know us. Jesus was serious about eating and drinking. His enemies even accused him of being a glutton. “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at Him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'” (Luke 7:34).

Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 2.49.25 PMThe problem here is not that heaven will be a party. The Pharisees knew God’s kingdom was going to be a party. Their objection is with the guest list. Tax collectors were social outcasts who commonly used their position to cheat people. Robert Karris notes, “In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal or coming from a meal.” The meals of Jesus represent a new outlook on grace, community, and missions. 

Food connects. 

Even when Jesus is not eating, references to food abound throughout the Gospel. In Luke 14, Jesus tells a parable of a great banquet. In Luke 15, Jesus tells the parable of the prodigal son, which ends with a party. In Luke 16, he contrasts a rich man “who feasted sumptuously every day” with a beggar “who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table.” 

In chapter 8 of his Gospel, Luke tells about a woman who provided food for Jesus. In Luke 22, Jesus tells His disciples: “I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.” Meals are used to describe salvation and judgment. Even people are described in terms of good food and bad food.


06052018-GraceGodsUnmeritedFavor-DrAdrianNaidooThe meals of Jesus represent a new outlook of grace. The meals of Jesus show us His message of grace and the way it defines His community and its mission. After being questioned about who He spent time eating with, this is how Jesus explains Himself: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31–32). 

Would you like a simple way to improve your life?

Take a break!

Take time to sit down, have a meal, and connect with someone. 

 

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