The Fallenness of Food
George was wondering when things were going to start getting better. His father had spoken of fantastic harvests and great celebrations when he tended the family plot of land. But all George could now see was sand as the Sahara desert grew each year. Where was the rain? Where was the good harvest for his wife and children? George was a convinced Christian: why was he suffering in this way? he thought to himself. A thousand miles away, a lady was clearing out her fridge, throwing away everything that had just passed its sell-by date. Her bin bulged as she threw in a chicken and four pints of milk.
Food is hugely significant to God and it’s a massive theme in the Bible. Genesis, the first book of the Bible, depicts a world created as a good place, where food was freely available to all. Yet food now bears the mark of our human fallenness. When Adam and Eve turned away from God and rejected his word to them, everything changed. In other words, because of our common human rejection of God, everything good in the world is distorted. Food, which was meant to be accessible and abundant, is now scarce and only available through backbreaking labour. The fact that many go without food today, and even more so that many others have food to waste, is a sign and symptom of the deep brokenness of our world and our humanity. It’s a sign of humankind living out of sync with the one who made us and loves us. Food is great, but it’s also a heart-breaking and scandalous reminder of our fallenness.
The life of Jesus Christ gives us a glimpse of the world as it should be and as it will one day be. Food plays a big part in this too. Jesus shared food with everyone, even those hated by the rest of society. Jesus, as he fed the 5000, made sure that everyone had enough and more. Followers of Jesus are citizens of this coming kingdom. It matters, then, that we let its values influence how we live today in a global society where food inequality is still a symptom of something not right about the world. An easy way to do this is to support our harvest appeal for items for the New Forest Basics Bank. Please give generously.
The Revd Dr Ben Sargent (taken from Hinton Happenings)