You Are Who You Eat With
There’s something intrinsically sacred about food, especially when food is shared with other people. After the Israelites are freed from slavery in Egypt, they complain to Moses about gurgling empty stomachs and parched throats, so God provides water, manna bread, and quail (what a feast!). Elijah, wandering through the same wilderness, meets a widow with a child literally starving to death. The widow invites Elijah into her home to share the very last bits of bread she has, and God shows up with enough bread to fill the stomach of the widow and her child for the rest of their long lives. Jesus, a wandering vagabond, always relied heavily on the radical hospitality of strangers. He would invite himself over to the homes of tax collectors like Levi and Zacchaeus, sharing with them the abundant Bread of Life as they broke bread together. The very last thing Jesus did before he was arrested and crucified? Share a meal with his disciples. The first thing he did after the resurrection? Meet them for breakfast on the beachfront. To put it simply – wherever and whenever the table is set, God always shows up.
Sacred things have been happening with food here in our community. Over the last year we’ve been actively involved with Decatur Cares Mobile Food Pantry helping provide fresh produce to our food insecure neighbors here in Wise County. Every time bushels of cabbage, 50-lb. bags of carrots, and crates of watermelon are set out on those tables – God show up. Beginning in July, FUMC Decatur will have the great privilege of hosting this incredible ministry. Every first Saturday of the month, our otherwise empty parking lot will be transformed into a fresh produce market where people who are hungry can find nutritious food to feed themselves and their children. If you pay close attention, you’ll catch a glimpse of God showing up here!
This season of Dinner Groups is also coming to a close. Over the past semester, many strangers have become friends over sharing dining room tables throughout homes in Wise County. Children have found new playmates, people have found new neighbors, and in each and every meal, God has shown up!
Throughout the summer, Pecan Street Mission will be experimenting with Dinner Church gatherings. We’ve invited our friends and neighbors from all walks of life to gather together in a family-friendly worship setting designed around…you guessed it…dinner tables! As we break bread together, God will be at work knitting us together as the broken body of Christ. Through sharing conversations on life & faith with strangers who become friends, each and every meal we expect Go to show up!
This summer, anytime you find yourself sharing food with someone, remember to keep an eye out for God! Whether you’re gathered with family in the dining room, neighbors at the grill, coworkers in the break room, strangers at a restaurant, or with the Body of Christ at the communion table, remember that food is sacred. Whenever and wherever the table is set, God always shows up.