The food of God for the people of God : reconnecting food to the Eucharist
There is an old saying that “you are what you eat.” But I think it goes further than that. We aren’t just defined by what we eat but who we eat with, where we eat, and how we eat. All of it says something about us. Food is cultural as well as biological—it’s spiritual as well as physical. Food is a ritual, communal, and relational act. All living things are part of what we call the food chain: all things are eating or being eaten. For Christians, the Table of the Lord, the Eucharist, should be the height of our eating. It is the apex of our interaction with food. At the Table, we enter the mystery of provision as we are fed by our good and gracious Father.
However, many of us have lost this connection of table to Table. The Western diet has stolen our diverse and bountiful diet and replaced it with the tepid slop of a fast food nation. Our theology of the Eucharist as been boiled down to individual memorialism of Jesus’ death, instead of a robust and hearty theology of remembrance, communion and hope.
So how might we go about reconnecting table to Table? I started with scripture where the Apostle Paul reminds the Church about its identity at the Table and how every table that we gather around forms us. Then I followed this thread through the theology of John Calvin to discover this connection within the Reformed tradition. Additionally, I use the voice of Jean-Jaques von Allmen to demonstrate how every meal that we eat is the prelude to and an echo of the meal that we eat at the Table of our Lord. Finally, I invite the gathered Church and households to engage in some practices of reconnection.