I love trying new products that our Innovation team use talent and imagination to create. It reminds me that in “The Land of Delight” (Eden), a garden was planted and in the centre of the garden was a fruit tree. In fact, throughout the garden grew vegetative plants that produced seed and trees that produced fruit and they were pronounced good.
Can you picture the delight in trying different foods for the first time? Food figures throughout the Bible from the beginning to the very end. Food is also a focus of many stories. Eve’s test, Cain’s offering, Abraham entertaining, Gideon, Jacob deceiving his brother, the manna, Daniel’s eating challenge, Jesus feeding the 5000, the Last Supper . . . the list goes on.
A friend who recently had COVID told me how horrible it was to lose their taste. Food was intended as a delight, as a blessing, as an enjoyable experience that not only provided nourishment but that would be a centre of community and communion. It makes sense that food became a symbol of life, hope and restoration. “I am the bread of life,” Jesus declares, “whoever comes to me will never go hungry” (John 6:35). To the woman at the well outside of Shecham, known for its gushing water and the place where Abraham first arrived in Canaan, setting up an altar on a mountain by the tree of Moreh, alluding to Eden, Jesus said “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst” (John 4:14).
Today we use the “bread and drink” in the Lord’s Supper as symbols of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Food is still a daily reminder of the providence, blessing and restorative work of Christ. It’s a privilege to pause, remember and give thanks at the beginning of each meal. This simple practice helps to recentre us on who provides for our needs, now and for eternity and reminds us of our invitation to the marriage supper.
“He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding from the throne of God . . . In the middle of its street was the tree of life, which bore 12 fruits” (Revelation 22:1,2). The fruit of that tree I can’t wait to try!