There’s something intrinsically sacred about food, especially when shared with other people. After the Israelites are freed from slavery in Egypt, they complain to Moses about 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 continue to happen with food here in our community.
Over the last year we’ve opened our parking lot to host the Decatur Cares Mobile Food Pantry, helping provide fresh produce to our neighbors experiencing food insecurity here in Wise County. Every first Saturday of the month, our otherwise empty parking lot is transformed into a fresh produce market where people who are hungry find nutritious food to feed themselves and their children. If you pay close attention, you’ll catch a glimpse of God showing up here!
Since May we’ve partnered with the Wise County Committee on Aging (Meals on Wheels) to host Lunches for Senior Adults. Each Tuesday seniors from across Wise County share a meal & fellowship with our Decatur Methodist family. Beginning in July, we’ll also partner with Decatur Cares to host the July Summer Feeding Program – providing hot lunches for around 100 elementary children each week in addition to sending their parents home with bags full of groceries to help supplement the absence of cafeteria meals available to these children during the school year. In each plate of food, God is showing up!
Our Dinner Groups continue to thrive as strangers & acquaintances become friends across dining room tables throughout 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 is again hosting 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 God 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 so very sacred. Whenever and wherever the table is set, God always shows up.