Sunday, August 16, 2009

Family Ties Sermon: Eat to Live

texts: psalm 111 proverbs 9 and john 6

Introduce sermon series, family ties.

Think back to one of your favorite meals. Maybe it was the food that made it so memorable, maybe it was the occasion. Just hold it in you mind for a moment, because today we’re going to be talking about food, and I want you to draw on the power that the meal that’s in your mind holds for you to as I speak about some of the most important aspects of food and eating and how it relates to our faith.

Joy of Food, anyone seen the movie Julie and Julia yet? Prob. Will be one of those Oscar contenders since it has Marilyn Streep in it. One thing that Julia Child lifted up, and that’s lifted up in another film we’ve shown here at the church at the “preacher feature” called Babette’s Feast, is the

Describe Babette’s Feast.

Food as sacramental—root of the meaning of the scriptures today. The Psalm points to the fact that food is from God. We don’t have to produce food, the earth and God’s provision provides food. We may think we provide food when we get used to sayings like “dad ‘brings home the bacon,’” but the truth is that the miracle of growth and bearing fruit is a miracle.

Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.
To do that, Slow Food brings together pleasure and responsibility, and makes them inseparable. Link on the website

I’ve been astounded to watch my garden grow over the summer, and this is a mystery that those of us who garden get to experience on a daily basis. We can take a seed that we find inside a fruit or a vegetable, put it in the ground, and it will grow into a plant that produces more. There’s a reason Jesus compared the kingdom to a seed.

In the Proverbs passage, we heard Lady Wisdom speaking of the invitation to study and “eat” the book of scripture and the study of God’s ways and grace as a great dinner party, where even the simple are invited to come and “taste and see that God is good.”

So many good things happen at a dinner table don’t they?

One of the things that tied my family together was the practice of the family meal at the table.

Eating together fosters fellowship. It conveys to the members of the family that there is a place where they are accepted and that others are interested in them. We have a “place at the table.”

Wisdom of the generations is passed down at dinner tables. Some say the demise of sense of regard for the elderly has walked hand in hand with the demise of the family dinner.

The fellowship of the family dinner has the potential to create a better life for children and teenagers. Linked a study by the Center for Addiction and Substance abuse: Frequent family dining is associated with lower rates of teen smoking, drinking, illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse.

From “The Power of the Spoon,” by Daniel Daly
If the family prays together before the meal, children learn that they belong to a family of believers. They give thanks to God because there is a God to give thanks to. That prayer of thanks and blessing, prayed day after day, year after year, can be a constant reminder that we are the children of God and He is our Father. At the dinner table, the family becomes a "little church."
The family prayer also teaches the lesson of gratitude. The child learns to be thankful not only to God, but to his or her mother and father for providing the food.
If the greatest Christian virtue is Charity, it is at the family dinner table where the lesson of charity can first be learned. The child learns that he or she must be aware of the others who share the table. He must be aware that others also need to eat and that he does not have a right to everything that is on the table. The awareness of the presence of other persons who have legitimate needs is a lesson that must be carried through life.

Charity that gives dinner tables

Importance of eating together, what it instills in us. Some who say the loss of tradition and loss of all of those things that we decry when we say things like “our culture is going down the tubes” is lost because we’re losing the time and patience and sense of importance of the family meal

You’ve probably heard the dieting mantra, “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”

I hope we can think of a new interpretation for this mantra. We’re eating to live because…

The meal that most positively influences our family life is the meal that Jesus offers us today in these scriptures we hear.

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