What Does Food Have to do With Faith?
Three Focal Areas for Leading your Congregation in a Discussion of Food and Faith
As the psalmist tells us, the fields speak a language of praise (Ps 19:1-4). Modern agriculture, however, has largely prevented such doxology. With our monocultures, fossil fuels, and chemicals we have forced the fields of the world to speak the language of industrialization, which is the language of efficiency and control. What if we turned to an agriculture that prized both ecological and communal health, where all could be fed and our fields could sing praises to their Creator? What if faith leaders and congregations began to put their hands to such work?
We live in a world where hunger and obesity are flip sides of the same coin, a world where those who harvest our food are often too poor to feed themselves. How does Jesus’ command to feed my sheepsquare with a food system that produces calories but does not produce health or justice? How does the health of land connect to the health of our bodies, and what role does food play in that link? What kind of table manners—practices, habits, and patterns—are we called to embody?
The Lord’s Supper is the central metaphor of the Christian faith, yet that ritual practice has become disconnected from our daily eating and living. How can the church use her Eucharistic imagination to create new ways of living modeled after Jesus’ abundant kingdom? In a world with so many food-related problems, how might faith leaders preach and teach the abundant vision of God’s shalom we find in scripture?
To explore these questions further, view the resources below.