A few weeks ago in class we were talking about food. You'll probably find that this is a topic of interest for this blog going forward. It's something that I have begun to be more interested in, and something that a lot of my focus in grad school will likely go around.
The basic idea of this particular class is that everything we do is worship, and we are to be constantly outpouring ourselves to others in a missionary way that is not separate from our worship. We look at how that influences various elements of the Christian walk and of corporate worship. The particular day I'm talking about, we looked at the Eucharist (Lord's Supper, Communion...).
We talked about various elements and things regarding it, but slowly by slowly we started discussing how food is something that our society revolves around. Everyone has to eat, so we talked about how having a meal with someone is something you do when you want to know him or her. We talked about how the church today needs to do more of that.
The theology of food has begun to be very interesting to me. The thing that stuck out to me that day in class though, is the concept of gluttony. Unfortunately we didn't really talk much about it the rest of the class though.
Gluttony... one of the seven deadly sins. But in a culture that is so inwrapped with the availability and (hypothetical) fulfillment of food, it is one that we often ignore. I would argue that the church is wrapped up in gluttony. While free food isn't a bad thing, we expect it at church, come to church for it, and have it in every aspect of our Christian lives. Fasting is a foreign concept to many 21st century Christians.
So what does gluttony mean for us as Christians? Especially when one of our tools of evangelism is sitting around a table together? Should evangelism involve food?
How do we as Christians see the goodness of God's creation in light of how we eat? And how do we help feed others when we have this same mindset?
Some of the final questions that I'm left to ponder begin with me asking, what does the food that I eat say about my theology? What does it say about the way that I view God and creation? Am I honoring God with what I'm putting into my body? If my body is a temple, how am I honoring it? After all, you can tell a lot about how a person feels about themselves, their life situations, the way they view the world, and the way they view God, by what they put in their bodies. The grocery store fascinates me for that reason.
Yes, this post has a lot of questions, but now you get to see a glimpse of what goes on within my mind. I don't have many answers, and I don't think I ever will fully, but I hope that over the next several years God shows me what he wants me to see. One of my professors, everyday in class, says that the important thing is not that we know the answers to all the questions, but that we know how to ask the right questions. I think this is a start.