Reply to comment
Food sells—not just in the market and the metropolis—but it’s all over the media. Cover stories on pink slime and sustainable farming, trendy diets and super foods make daily news. The Food Revolution is in full swing. But have we missed something?
Perhaps we’re starting at the wrong place. Instead of asking what’s for dinner, maybe we should explore why we dine. It might just change our perspective on food and give us an even better reason to pick up our fork.
1. An act of enjoyment.
God’s provision should bring us pleasure. He created food to be enjoyed. If you don’t believe dinner is meant for our delight, just stroll through the produce section at your local grocery store. You’ll find vibrant peppers, savory potatoes, fragrant lemons, hairy coconuts, and crunchy jicama. We engage every sense when we dine.
Such pleasure permeates the Bible. Adam and Eve enjoyed every plant, except one, in the Garden. Israel shared meals as a part of their sacrifices and festivals. Even Jesus dined with His followers. Every time we sit down to eat, it should serve as a sacred act. We enjoy God’s gift, recount His goodness, and express our gratitude.
2. A source of nourishment.
Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Actually Moses made that statement. And Jesus quoted it during a time of intense, 40-day fasting.
There is a craving deep within in us that no physical provision can satisfy. Our souls were created for communion with God. So when we forgo a meal, we acknowledge that our need for God runs deeper than our need for food and drink. Dallas Willard writes, “Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him the source of sustenance beyond food” (The Divine Conspiracy).
So when we come to the table, our focus should be our nourishment. Food can’t heal our neediness. Only God can fill that space. So whether we feast or fast, we look to Him as the source of true satisfaction.
3. A place for sharing our provisions with others.
The table breaks down barriers. I’ve watched it happen in my own home. A plate of meaty lasagna, garlicky green beans, and crusty bread makes us feel safe. Our walls come down. And after the dishes are cleared, stories are told and struggles are shared.
It shouldn’t surprise us that the table was God’s idea. In the Old Testament, God instructed families to bring Him their offerings and then invite the Levite and the servant, the widow and the sojourner to dine with them (Deuteronomy 16:11). And in the New Testament, the early church sold their possessions, shared their bread, and worshiped together (Acts 2:42-47).
The table gives us a place to pass along what God has given us. He provides our paycheck, and He puts food on our plates. So when we welcome newcomers to our table, we acknowledge God’s blessings and use them to bless others.
4. A simple reminder of Christ’s sacrifice.
Christ could have selected anything to help us remember His sacrifice. But He chose life’s most basic elements—bread and wine—to commemorate His broken body and spilt blood.
At His final Passover meal, Jesus broke the bread and passed the cup as an act of remembrance (Mark 14:12-25). Just as a lamb’s blood smeared on the doorpost protected Israel’s firstborns, so now Christ’s blood preserves all who come to Him in faith.
As we come to the table and partake of the elements, we recall Christ’s work on our behalf. He gave His body and blood that we might fellowship with Him. And one day, we’ll dine at His eternal table.
The grocery store, the dinner table, and the Lord’s Table are all places of worship. So whether we select the black bean burrito or the Black Angus burger, the sustainable seared salmon or the teriyaki tofu, let’s savor it to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Will you join me?