To eat or not to eat?

2 10 2011

This has been a pertinent question in our house recently – and it’s nothing to do with diets.  If I give you the letters “D” and “V”…

To eat or not to eat? 

How does this 1950s TV dinner appeal to you?

It’s so much more than nutrition.  Eating is a central part of family life, and of expressing hospitality.  We welcome others in when we share a meal.  But what if people don’t like our food…or don’t like us? 

This was a Big Question if you lived in the first century and wanted to keep your traditions pure.  Food laws marked out the Jews from their Gentile neighbours.  The two did not eat together – Gentiles were not family.  But all that was to change.

Acts chapter 10 tells of the extraordinary experiences of two people – Cornelius, a Roman soldier and Peter, a Jewish follower of Jesus – and how their relationship was to influence the growth of the church.  And it centres on food and hospitality.  (Please pause now and read the account.)

It’s an extraordinary story of how attitudes and behaviour can change.  Both Cornelius and Peter encountered God and responded in obedience.  And there is an immediacy about it all – they didn’t stop to analyse what was happening, or worry about what other people would think, or try to justify long-held opinions.  They just did what they had to do.




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