While it would be difficult to argue that the Bible is a culinary manual, concerned only with how to eat, what to eat, and when to eat; it is not difficult to argue that food plays a central role in the Bible.
Food is the first way the Bible shows that God intends to provide for humanity. Consider the garden, all those seed-bearing plants and trees with fruit given to Adam and Eve to eat.
Food accompanies hospitality. As early as Genesis 18, Abraham tells Sarah to bake cake for three visitors, who turn out to be angels there to announce a great miracle.
Food carries memory and becomes a sacrament, a physical reminder of God’s promise, when Jesus instructs his friends and followers to eat a ritual meal in his memory.
And finally, God becomes food: “My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink,” Jesus says to his confused followers in the Gospel of John.
There is a certain strangeness about such a metaphor, in fact, the early church was often accused of cannibalism because of the metaphor. But at the same time, the pair of foods that God chooses seems almost unremarkable. Wine and cup. The fruit of the vine; the stuff of life.
It seems so basic.
And yet, such a statement pulls us back to a foundational statement about God.
God provides for us; God provides exactly what we need.
And so, we are called to trust, to depend upon God. In fact, we must rely upon God for our very life, much as a branch relies on the vine for its sustenance.
God is bread. And God is vine.
In that, may we find all we need.
Grace and peace,