This last week I was standing in the “12 items or less” u-scan check out line behind a guy who was clearly single and not even trying. How could I tell? It wasn’t just the fact he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.
His basket was filled with Chef Boyardee and Mountain Dew.
Sure, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s single, but it’s about a strong a signal as you’re going to see without him walking around showing off his Plenty of Fish account profile.
This event got me thinking about food.
Nearly every day I cook dinner for our family before I head into work. Some days I put a lot more effort into it than others, but it is still a routine that we’ve developed since I’m home during the day and go to work at night. I have the opportunity to make the food while everyone else is at school or work and then we get to sit down together and enjoy it as a family.
This past week, both my wife (who often cooks) and oldest son (who never cooks for the family) decided they wanted to take the reigns for a creative meal. Not only were both meals delicious (much love and respect to my 14 year old!), but the time we spent together as a family was great. We had fantastic conversation talking about ridiculous things that only 3 pre-teen and teenage boys would dare discuss at a table and it was hilarious.
We also have some close friends who we love having over and they love having us over for home cooked meals. It’s the best. We laugh, enjoy the food and Jesus’ first miracle (you’ll see that soon).
We’ve got a larger group of friends that are fans of this too. One guy in the group kills it on the grill. When we’re all getting together we know we’ll soon have bacon wrapped something and it will change our lives not just our cholesterol levels. There’s just something spiritual about food, family and friends.
Haven’t we all had that experience? A meal that was both delicious and memorable because of all the laughter that was shared? Maybe the meal wasn’t a joyful one but it was to celebrate the life of a loved one. A meal to help another person heal. A meal to catch up with a long lost friend.
A lot of our favorite memories will often revolve around a meal.
And have you ever stopped to be thankful for the many flavors, textures and smells of food? Aren’t you glad that that one time you got to see a friend you hadn’t seen since high school that everything you ate didn’t taste like rice?
Instead, God gave us all these life changing foods from different cultures and regions. Snacks and pastries, desserts and meats. All of it delicious.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years really looking at God and food and here’s what I noticed: nearly every major event in the Bible is accompanied by food or a meal.
In the Genesis poem we read about a pre-sin society and humanity was told to eat and enjoy the food.
After 400 years in slavery on the night before God delivered the people of Israel from the hands of the oppressive Pharaoh they had a meal together.
When Jesus performed his first miracle it was at a wedding turning water into wine (side note: some would argue that every miracle after was downhill from there).
On the night before Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion he shared a meal with those closest to him.
And in the end of the Scriptures we read about the greatest feast of all.
Clearly, food and hanging out are important and go hand in hand.
Guys like the one in my opening story are all too common. Food becomes a necessity, something that we have to do and so we treat it casually and we miss out on the beauty of what the meal could actually be.
I’ve got to be honest here – fellas, if you can show you know your way around the kitchen or a grill, there’s not a woman alive that won’t put that in the plus column for you.
My wife agrees.
Food is a gift.
Sharing a meal with someone is a gift.
For our family, eating a prepared meal together is one of the greatest, and most biblical, practices we observe.
I can’t encourage you enough to take the time to sit with your family, loved one, or cook for the one you’re trying to woo, and share a biblical moment celebrating all the amazing tastes God has given us through the gift of food.
It’s an amazing opportunity to honor him and connect with others.
Just make sure it’s not out of a Chef Boyardee can.