Have you ever considered how often food is mentioned in the Bible? If you had asked me to give an example, the last supper Jesus had with his disciples would have certainly come to my mind. I realized, after this week’s session, how often I have skimmed the passages of scripture concerning food without giving a moment’s thought to their importance.
“But food in the Bible is more than a commodity to be consumed. It is often sacred and symbolic, showing up both on tables and in temples. Food plays a prominent role in the most spiritually significant events from the moment the story starts.” Taste and See – Margaret Feinberg
The Garden of Eden was created by God to be a bountiful place filled with sights, smells, sounds, textures, and tastes. On Day 1 of Session 1, we were instructed to read from Genesis 1 in the Bible and record everything that our senses would have encountered. This place revealed the hospitality of God as he invited man and creature alike to partake and be fruitful. The intricate, detailed, and unique care that he took in making our world and everything in it showed his creative nature. Of humankind, God asked that they work the Garden and take care of it. This work would have led Adam to truly taste and see God’s goodness and provision. Sadly, Adam and Eve chose a different route which banished them from the Garden.
On Day 2, we read and answered questions pertaining to the first chapter from the companion book to the study. One of these questions asked for us to describe our most memorable meal and how that memory reveals our deeper heart hunger. Margaret Feinberg’s most memorable meal led her to realize her deep need for connection and community.
“When we gather to eat, God wants to nourish more than our bodies: he wants to nourish our souls with transcendent joy and supernatural community and divine presence. When we feed our physical appetites in community, we open our hearts for God to feed something deeper as well. He has connected our bodies and bellies to our spirits and souls. That, it seems, is the way God has designed us. God created us to give and receive, not just in our bodies but in our spirits.” Taste and See – Margaret Feinberg
On the introductory video, Margaret Feinberg stated that “table time is transformation time.” She believes this concept to be the reason why God takes a particular interest in food. We are to recognize “Jesus” in the people at our tables. When we stop and think about the One who provides for our physical needs, we understand our dependence on him and the holiness of food. We should pause to remember all that was involved from the planting, the harvesting, the packaging, and preparing that produces the meal that we consume set before us. Our Day 3 exercises guided us to remember others in prayer prior to our meals. To remember that food is a gift of grace and mealtime is a time to enter into deeper relationships with others over a shared meal or in remembrance of others during the practice of prayer prior to consumption.
On Day 4, we read chapter two from the companion book. We read of the time that Margaret spent fishing on the Sea of Galilee with Ido in addition to the biblical stories of the Apostle Peter fishing. We were led to consider and ponder the power of God in our lives through application questions.
“Yet if you search your everyday life for the presence of Christ, you’ll begin to see the extra provision, extra might, extra grace that he’s slipping you. The way he provides an unexpected compliment from a friend. Or a familiar face that you weren’t expecting in a crowed place. Or a breathtaking sunset. These displays of God’s power are good and beautiful, like the fish the disciples caught. But the greatest miracle remains the One who sent them.” Taste and See – Margaret Feinberg
Throughout this study, the lessons on Day 5 will feature an activity lesson designed for us to put into practice and apply what we have learned. We are instructed to choose one activity from among the list. Our choices were to enjoy a picnic with a friend and engage in more meaningful conversation, to make a new recipe to try or share with a friend, to plant fresh herbs to grow and share with others or to find ways to help others in our local communities by providing food or meals for those that are in need.
Continue this week by watching the Session 2 video and working the Session 2 lesson plan.