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Each week, through the ministry of the Word, he spreads a table in the wilderness, setting before us excellent food and drink for the soul.

That God takes a deep interest in food should come as no surprise. He created humans with the need for food. The first and last chapters of Scripture make references to food. The fall of Adam involved food. Israel's ceremonial law was largely centered on food. The Psalms frequently praise God for providing food. And in the Gospels we encounter the Son of God performing miracles with food, enjoying conversations over food, even instituting a holy sacrament with food. Food is important to God. It is an expression of his goodness and essential to the lives of his image-bearers. It is more than a mere battery to keep our bodies going; food satisfies some of the longings of the human soul. "If we ponder to what end God created food," said Calvin, "we shall find that he meant not only to provide for necessity but also for delight and good cheer." Perhaps Robert Farrar Capon said it best in his eccentric The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection: "To be sure, food keeps us alive, but that is only its smallest and most temporary work. Its eternal purpose is to furnish our sensibilities against the day when we shall sit down at the heavenly banquet and see how gracious the Lord is. Nourishment is only for a while; what we shall need forever is taste." Simply put, food is part of being human.

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1 [ Back ] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, III.10.2.
2 [ Back ] Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection (New York: The Modern Library, 2002), 40.
3 [ Back ] John Owen, "Sermon V," Works (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1998), 9:453.
4 [ Back ] Kevin J. Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), 456.
5 [ Back ] Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2000), 7.
6 [ Back ] Edmund Clowney, The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 1988), 11.
7 [ Back ] R. L. Dabney, Evangelical Eloquence (1870; repr. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1999), 37.

Michael Brown is pastor of Christ United Reformed Church (Santee, California).

Issue: "A Feast in a Fast-Food World" July/August 2009 Vol. 18 No. 4 Page number(s): 25-28

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