Is food Satan’s tool of idolatry or God’s gift for reconciliation?
Could the world’s attempt to control, regulate, define and restrict what we eat really be inspired by Satan as a way to derail the spread of the Gospel through hospitality?
Our culture is consumed with viewpoints and dialog about food or the lack of it; about harmful ingredients, the gluten controversy or unnatural GMO variants. We obsess about how many calories we need or when we’ve had too much. We have become fixated on what we put in our bodies in a spiritually unhealthy way. In addition, we isolate ourselves from each other by focusing on how we eat differently than everyone else. Controversy about what to eat has become a great divider of people in our western culture. We don’t like having people in our home because the issue of what to eat can become incredibly problematic. Is it really about health or is there something more sinister fueling the issue?
How have we handled this discussion in church? Other than our universal need for doughnuts and coffee, has food become an ugly idol that prevents us in church from seeing how Jesus used food and hospitality as a path to discipleship and reconciliation? Has the church further confused the issue by relegating “hospitality” to Women’s ministries even though it is a requirement for all elders in Titus 1:5-9 or I Tim 3:1-7?
I fear we have lost sight of the wholistic approach Jesus taught and modeled for us regarding food. And by wholistic I mean incorporating the spiritual and physical together to build His kingdom. Jesus met people right in the middle of the mess their life was in. He spoke directly into their physical, emotional and spiritual disarray and reconnected them with hope. Jesus met them at the table and used food to nourish spiritual hunger resulting in restoration and transformation. This is the purpose behind hospitality looking a lot like discipleship. Using food as a wholistic ministry around your table can change hearts for all eternity! Are you really a Christ follower? Then follow Him to the table.
To all men and women who claim to be Christ followers; our world needs the Church to follow Jesus’ example and use food in a whole different way. We have been given the mission of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. This is our destiny! So who are you reconciling to Christ? Who will be at your table tonight? Hospitality looks a lot like discipleship!
©Copyright Rebecca Walker 2017