We have survived Easter and the fifty days. We ease back into the routine of life and the down time of summer, school’s out. The liturgical year slips into its benign period and for a while anyway spiritual demands are not as present and in your face as they are during Lent and Easter. If you have been lucky, though there should be things in your head that linger, pieces of faith that rise to the top maybe even in ways that you never expected. After all the season has just passed upon which the whole of the faith is founded on and has endured for over two thousand years. Do you just shelve Easter, all the spectacular happenings that we have experienced together as community? Or do you recall a flash of a scripture a glimpse of a liturgical moment, a remembrance of that song or a moment beyond sacred? Things that loiter in your mind, in your spirit. That’s not a mistake!
Maybe you have some sweet memories of Easters past. These often involve family, special treats/food, Egg Hunts and other Easter traditions. That’s not a bad thing to have in your memory, but what about your adult recollections of Easters past and recent? For me, I remember the things about Easter that “shock”: The Resurrection, the Tomb emptied, the Woman and then Women given first news, men who wouldn’t give the respect of belief, Jesus popping up literally out of nowhere in various locations! He had a sense of the theatrical. That’s one of those things that leads me to believe that Jesus’ desire to be inculcated into psyche of the human race was so intense that he left not even the most mundane stone unturned.
Think about this; In our “every day”, the grinding routine, what is it that every single human on earth thinks about or desires and/or discusses, no matter what the language or culture or economic level? C’mon, you know it, think, think! Why it’s food, of course! We revere food, think about food, fantasize about food, spend money on food, share food, tie food to memory, associate food with culture, recall food of childhood, celebrate with food, mark occasions with food, encounter community with food. Is there anything more human or incarnate than the way we interact with food? It’s really the common denominator for the human race!
Is it any wonder, then, that the Savior of the world comes to us after his great triumph over death itself and instantly places himself in the context of the incarnate human race? Did you notice that, Jesus’ unashamed attempt at affirming our very fragile humanity? He completely ignores the fact that he just conquered death and had a chat with Moses and Elijah. Were you paying attention? It’s right there in the midst of the Lucian text. First comes the greeting, he interrupts their conversation with “Peace be with you.” (Lk 24:36). Then after the greeting and a short chastisement about their attitude comes a statement so astoundingly affirming of the human race that it almost hard to believe. Luke records it. He was there, right? Like a petulant teen-ager staring into the stocked refrigerator Jesus’ next question is, wait for it: “Have you anything here to eat?” (Lk24:41) No matter how you couch this remark in your mind, heart and opinion you have to regard it as shocking, out of place, kind of crazy. We’re talking about a dead man who just walked through a closed door and he’s hungry? Holy smoke! How very human, everyone is hungry after a mighty task, right? You could speculate about the theological reason for that remark, but in the world and across all generations there isn’t anyone who would not recognize a one on one kinship with it. In a like manner he appears days later on the beach at the Galilee and his first action is to serve the disciples breakfast. (Jn 21:12)
We should also keep in mind that the greatest action of salvation and permanent connection to the human race also came in the context of a meal. Daily, worldwide he is in literal physical touch with us. We are chosen we are human, we are the ones who literally touch heaven and earth at the same time and it is good. More than fitness or pleasure or a means to mortify the body, food is a shared joy, an act that Jesus himself models. Re-think your concept of food and diet. Did you realize that any shared meal is a holy act, a reflection and reminder of God Himself?
Copyright© 2017, Kathryn M. Cunningham