Eat right live right …
by Matt Hunt
The old adage can be true: you are what you eat. We all know the impact of eating rightly and eating wrongly. And we can feel it. But have you ever considered the issue of ‘eating rightly with’?
‘Eating rightly with’? Yes. Eating is, in the main, not a solo sport! Across every culture across all time, community and relationships are formed, celebrated and deepened over a meal, a party, a coffee. From the Middle Eastern celebrations of OT times and the Ancient Near East, to Roman banquets and the love feast of the early church, to Tudor feasts in fifteenth century England and corroborees of Aboriginal Australia. We remember struggles for food for Scott of the Antarctic and his team in the early 20th century, and the small rations of the armies in the world wars, and the extremes of the famines of the horn Africa and ‘Man versus Food’ reality shows of the 21st century. Today we see it in Coffee Clubs, Zaraffas, Starbucks and Gloria Jeans (and more). Every library, university, church and garden nursery has a coffee shop, on top of the classic shops and diners in street strips and shopping centres.
Eating and relationships have followed us humans right through our history. We were made for relationships and intimacy. We are wired to relate: the family meal time is a treasure that has been lost in Australia. So too the community picnic (remember the old Sunday school picnics of yesteryear?)
This raises the question, it might not be what we eat that is important but who we eat with! Are we ‘eating rightly with’? We have 21 meals a week, make sure most of those are not gastronomic events, but relational celebrations taking you one more step towards intimacy and connection with your family, your friends, and your workmates. Jesus said to love God with all your heart, soul mind and strength, but he also said ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12:29-31).
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