Meals as Method
Have you ever wondered why the whole story line of Scripture is shaped around meals? Have you found yourself the least bit curious as to why the entirety of Jesus’ ministry is summed up in Luke 7:34 as “the Son of Man came eating and drinking?” Let’s do some digging.
I find it fascinating that God did not start the creation in the context of a 501(c3) non-profit, a building, a cabinet, a district, a board, or an institution of any kind. God saw fit to share His love with the world and to multiply His image on earth within the context of a garden, through the relationship of a man and a woman in a marriage, and in a family. In Genesis 1:29, God inaugurates His mission on earth with a meal.
God’s wise method for making Himself known on the earth in something as simple as soil, meals, and a family, is brilliant. Why?
We must first realize that God is timeless (outside of and unbound by limits) and can see the beginning of time as well as He knows the ending. It would seem logical that God not only saw our “today” while creating the world in Genesis, and in deciding how He would sovereignly lay out, orchestrate, and assemble the known creation, but He also saw the church (Eph. 3:9–10), wars, pestilence, persecution, famine, power struggles, and all the other countless evils that were going to spring up on the earth as a result of our sickness and sin.
Hypothetically speaking, this must have caused God to ask Himself something to this effect: “With all the hostility seeking to stop My plans, promises, purposes, and people on the earth, I must put into a place a paradigm for ministry that can survive in any time, in any place, and under any circumstance.” In God choosing to advance His image and love on the earth through meals, He shows us his wisdom.
Eating and drinking are necessary to life, and meals are the one thing that brings creation (garden) and family together in a way that can be visible or invisible. Around a meal we see all of creation and humankind dining relationally and in face-to-face unity and service toward one another—a passionate community of togetherness.
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