So much of the Bible revolves around food.
Any Sunday Schooler will be able to tell you what the first sin ever was: Eating. The wrong thing at the wrong time from the wrong tree.
Many of Moses’ laws revolved around what to eat, what not to eat, when, how, where and why to eat. Don’t eat bacon, but do eat unleavened bread during Passover. Eat this bull in the presence of a priest, but don’t eat clams.
A friend pointed out that the Bible is divine comedy: Eating is what doomed mankind to death, but it’s also the means by which we are saved. First the serpent invited Eve to ‘come and eat;’ later it is the phrase Jesus extended to the sinners, prostitutes and tax collectors, and now to us.
Do this in remembrance of me.
Come and eat.
And you probably know how the Bible ends too: With a feast.
Seems like God loves to eat.
Jesus ate too. He is constantly caught at the table with ‘sinners.’ The cool thing is, this isn’t an isolated event that He did once to make a statement. We get the impression that Jesus made a habit of chilling with the societal outcasts. He likely even called many of them His friends.
Even more fascinating, we don’t get the impression that Jesus was a chaperone or missionary-type as He hung out with these people. Luke 7 implies that Jesus was often mistaken for a drunk and a glutton: He ate a lot and drank a lot. He wasn’t a bore to be around.
He didn’t wait for these ‘sinners’ to improve their lives or crawl out of their addictions before he sat and broke bread with them; Jesus moved into their space, where they were, and showed the world that they had value. That they were worth eating with.
So I ask myself: When was the last time I sat with a prostitute or inmate and ate a meal? When was the last time I exited my comfort zone to show someone I care about them? Who is that person for you?
Perhaps you’re the one who feels too dirty, unclean, and sinful to be wanted by the Lord. Let this be a reminder, especially to those of us who feel disgusting in the eyes of God, that Jesus looks at each of us and says, “Come, eat with me.”
He was willing to sacrifice His reputation in the eyes of the religious leaders to show love to the lowest of society. And He does the same to each of us.
This invitation is for the sinners, the broken down and the unworthy, and it extends even to people like us, the addicts, the perfectionists and workaholics.
This feeling of invitation and nearness may be foreign to you. Fortunately, the family of God is enormous and welcoming. The food won’t leave you wanting, nor will the drink leave you thirsty.
Come and eat.