Christians should take joy in eating food. That’s right, I used the word joy. When I use the word joy I don’t just mean the kind of joy where you are happy about eating (I am elated every time my Mom makes her delicious Minestrone Soup, however) but I do mean joy in the sense that we take pleasure in our food.
One of the greatest heresies the Early Church faced, was Gnosticism. Gnosticism is the belief that we live in a “dualistic universe” made up of matter and light. Matter, the things of this earth, were categorized as evil and the works of the devil. Light, the supernatural things, or the realm of God, were categorized as good, but could be tainted by the evil matter of earth. That’s why Gnostics also hold to the heresy that Christ did not come to earth to live a perfect, sinless life in physical form, because He would have been “corrupted” by the evil things of this world; and that when He died on the cross His spirit fled and He never actually died.
Gnostic teachings have grasped on to some Christians’ views of this earth, like blood-sucking leeches. It may seem “more holy” to not take pleasure in earthly things, such as food. In Genesis 1:29-31a. however, God stated:
See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food;” and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”
It’s important to notice that God doesn’t only say He has given every “herb and fruit” for our food, but also declares what He created was “very good.” We are to emulate God in seeing our food as very good. Another way we are to emulate God, and take joy in our food, is by being creative in the foods we make. Just as our Creator was creative in the food He designed for us, we are to be expressing our Christianity through being inventive in the foods we design for our (and others) consumption. Giving our best to God.
The Bible speaks quite frequently about food. Many places in the Bible speak about the Passover Feast, wine, manna, fish, and bread. These accounts of God’s people feasting also describe them enjoying what their Creator made for their pleasure. (Ecclesiastes 10:19, 2 Chronicles 8:13, John 6:1-14 to name a very few instances) We are also told to look forward to the Great Feast we shall participate in someday with our Lord. (Revelation 19:9) Christians even use the term “feasting on God’s Word” to illustrate taking pleasure in it.
As Thanksgiving quickly approaches remember the joy that is to be found in our food. Remember our God gave it to us as something “very good.” Remember the imagery shown in the feasts we celebrate here on earth that are a shadow of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
~Soli Deo Gloria