We’re excited to run the café at The Pursuit as a place where we can gather and celebrate God through the creativity of music, art, and food.
Selecting our coffee, cakes, and juice we’ve been thinking how we can honour God with what we’re doing here. As a part of Tearfund we spend a lot of time considering the world around us. We’ve begun to realise how important food and hospitality really are.
You and I becoming globally connected over the last few decades has provided insights to the way the wider world works. It’s immersed us in other cultures, given us friends from different lands. Technology at its best. It also means we witness the effects of our actions: the poverty born of our consumerist ways.
We can use this opportunity to change our habits. We can make more ethical choices so that others don’t suffer because of us.
You and I are part of a generation that is becoming increasingly aware of our food and where it comes from – is it Fairtrade? Is it locally sourced? Can I go without eating meat this week? These seemingly small things, done by enough people, create a ripple big enough to effect change.
‘This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.’ (1 John 3.16-18)
We can turn our weekly food shop into an avenue of worship.
Love Through Hospitality
Food is powerful. It’s able to bring people together in an ambience of friendship; it reaches out to loved ones and strangers alike.
Those around Jesus thought important to note that he came ‘eating and drinking’ (Luke 7:34). He spent a lot of time sharing his meals – not just with family – but with the outcasts and lowlifes.
Massive significance is placed on these gatherings: Jesus used them to teach powerful messages on acceptance and compassion,
‘Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5.31-32)
He wants us to invite those who are broken by the world and less fortunate into our homes so that we become equals.
By giving food through aid and food banks, we can risk becoming superior. By sharing inviting people into our homes to share our food, we become friends.
Finally, food is at the heart of Jesus’ life:
‘While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26.26- 29)
In the most important moment of his life, Jesus expresses his message within a meal. By eating the bread and drinking the wine we are connecting with this very moment, remembering that our rescue came through his sacrifice.
We can imitate Jesus in our daily deeds through small sacrifices, and an easy place to start could be in our mealtimes. Think about your favourite foods – sweet mangos, crisp tomatoes, succulent chicken – these are more than just sustenance, they are gifts for us to enjoy, an expression of God’s generosity, an opportunity to revel in His grace, and who wouldn’t want to share that?
Fiona Jackson has a degree in Creative Writing and uses it to pursue justice and awareness, she is a currently the editorial intern for Tearfund Rhythms, works in an independent café, and helps out in her local youth group.