Aug 2, 2018
In John's Gospel of the loaves and fish feeding the multitudes (John 6:1-14) Jesus felt the need to feed the 5000 followers waiting to hear him speak because he knew they were hungry. Transforming 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish into a horde of food fed those followers physically but also spiritually. His loving gesture and service filled their bellies but it also nourished the belief, faith, and commitment. The bounty and scarcity of food have always been so important our BC and AD human existence and evolution. Today, and a little closer to our own lives - the passion for making and serving others genuine food might be engrained in our Southern DNA. Heck, it's practically another religion in these parts. John T. Edge explores this shared Southern food culture and history with his research and southern food stories in his book The Potlikker Papers. Food is a common thread and a powerful force in our lives and community. It's one of life's necessities but it can also be symbolic, unifying, and a kindness (watch neighbors start cooking when news of a tragedy or death befalls their community.) Jesus knew the power of nourishment and sharing a meal to communicate and connect with others, he did it quite often throughout the New Testament. On that mountain next to the Sea of Galilee his actions and role of cook and server to nourish his 5000 followers is no small miracle or lesson. With little resources, so much abundance was created that salvage needed to be carefully collected so nothing went to waste. All in attendance were invited to that table and everyone had their fill. Jesus fed his flock in the same life-giving way that God fed the Israelites in the desert. Are we preparing and serving healthy nourishment to multitudes of others? Are we properly feeding the shared lives of ourselves, family, church, and community? Are you the cook, the server, the guest, or the stranger that feels left out? As Southerners, we pride ourselves on our genuine hospitality, but is it genuine? Are we equally open and welcoming to all and is everyone invited to our bountiful table?
In our fast food world of spirituality, if we want to follow the Way of Christ and consciously nourish the lives of others, then we must create a culture that values preparing and offering a welcoming table of love, faith and real connection to anyone who seeks to be fed. Do you know your role in this powerful and sacred act?
About Pulpit To Pew
Pulpit to Pew is a conversation between priest and parishioner, to understand how the message translates and to explore further the weekly Sunday sermon and lessons within the Episcopal tradition and daily life.
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Pulpit To Pew is a Christ Church Cathedral and Deep Fried Studios collaboration