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My pastor preached yesterday morning on the well-known passage in Luke 24, after the even more well-known Emmaus Road passage, about Jesus proving He wasn't a ghost by asking for food. This became a springboard for wonderful ruminations on the physicality of the new creation, the earthiness of the New Earth, the joys of food and of communal eating and feasting in the Bible (as it will be in Kingdom come.) It doesn't take too much imagination, I hope, to know what comes next: if Christ is bringing redemption to our mortal bodies and if all of life is being restored until that final consumation of all things---heaven and Earth as one---then we've got obligations now to live faithfully in anticipation of that restored cosmos. To be specific, Rev. Morgon reminded us of the joys of daily meals, the wisdom of good nutrition, the ethics of just agriculture and the politics of world hunger. My, my, you can imagine how thrilled I was. Not only did some members comment afterwards that their appetites were stoked, I would hope that our appetites---in the classic sense of spiritual formation, what we hunger for, long for, desire---were made more aligned with the will of God.
You can guess that Dr. Morgan has been reading Eugene Peterson. (Scroll down to my previous post to see my rave of Living the Resurrection which has a splendid chapter on meals.)
And so: for those interested in this good topic, we recommend the very useful collection, Food and Faith: Justice, Joy and Daily Bread edited by Michael Shut (published by Living the Good News; $14.95.) This is an edited volume with essays from the likes of M.K.F. Fischer, Wendell Berry, Norman Wirzba and John Robbins which includes an extensive study guide for small groups. What a good array of writers are in here! Although it can be enjoyed without it, the companion volume is similiarly arranged and equally lovely, and challanging. It is called Simple Living, Compassionate Life: A Christian Perpsective which is more generally about ecological lifestyles, good stewardship and the spirituality of home economics. Both are wonderfully practical resources to follow up on Peterson's chapter abour resurrection meals. Or, if you were as fortunate as those of us at FPC in York, a good follow up to an important sermon.