What does the Bible say about food? How should Christians think about eating? Does food show us anything about God’s care for us? How is it affected by the Fall? Tim Chester in “Theology of Food” offers brief answers to these and other questions. Chester writes:
Food reminds of our dependence on other people. We are tied into a network of farmers, traders, shopkeepers, cooks, families, traditions of gastronomy. Above all we are dependent on God. We are finite beings who need sustenance to sustain us. We need to ‘refuel’. Except that food is so much more than fuel. Think of all your favourite foods: steak and potatoes, thai green curry, crumble and custard… It didn’t have to be this way.
Biscuits would have sufficed to sustain our lives. But God is ridiculously lavish in his creativity and generosity. God’s first act after creating humanity was to present us with a menu: the fruit of all the trees in the garden. Every meal is an opportunity to receive God’s good gifts with thankfulness. Perhaps we need to refresh the practice of saying ‘grace’ before meals as an expression of our dependence and God’s generosity. Food is an opportunity for human creativity and generosity in the image of the Creator.
However, like everything on earth, food is touched by the Fall. As Chester says, “The very first act of rebellion was an act of eating.”
Our fractioned relationships and greed means many in our world go without food. We over eat. We under eat. Food is integral to our humanity so it’s no surprise to find that our brokenness shows up in our relationship to food.
Is there redemption for eating? Chester points to hope when he writes, “Against this backdrop of food-gone-wrong, God promises a feast.”
Read the rest of the article for his analysis of God’s promises in regards to food and how when God says, “I am making all things new,” he even meant our daily bread.