Occasionally, I will mention this here Eating Liturgically discipline to someone, and they will…let’s just say, not take it seriously. I have wondered if it’s a gendered response, that I am just another woman worrying about what she eats? Or that food and the planning and preparation of it is linked to emotional labor and women, and thus less important in a conversation about God, about prayer, about liturgy?
Well…what do people think we’re doing every Sunday? We remember a specific meal, and Jesus’ words as he fed his friends. Take, eat, this is my body. Take, drink, this is my blood. Eat. Drink. Our literal physical need for food linked with our literal spiritual need for Christ.
I don’t claim to be the first to design eating around a calendar. I do think, however, that the individual mindfulness I’m calling for in Eating Liturgically is interesting. I’m not just replicating a monastic discipline or recreating a medieval tradition…I am, today, reorienting my daily needs around liturgy. Around Christ.
Further, I think that when we can’t evangelize by telling the story because people can’t or wont’ hear it after centuries of church hypocrisy and corruption…we can evangelize through food. Everybody eats.
And, ideally, when we invite them to our churches to worship with us, we are inviting them to eat with us – to share in the sustenance of worship, the physical groundedness of Eucharist. Not to be new members and pledge to the new church roof and make us feel relief at more butts in the pews.
Who Jesus ate with rocked the world – those sinners and tax collectors and prostitutes. As we follow him, food can matter.