I’ve appreciated what Doug Wilson has had to say about contemporary food idolatries. His latest post is a little oblique, but good. Pulling out some punchy sound bites (and completely glossing over the necessary caveats):
I believe that some wives, in the way they pursue “healthy” menu choices for their home, are inadvertently trying to teach their husbands and children how to cheat. . . .
A school district in New York just recently dropped the First Lady’s school lunch program because the kids were hungry all the time. What happens in a family where the first lady there has implemented a similar regime and does not have buy-in from her husband and kids? One of the obvious things is that the husband often has the resources to fix things at lunch with a greasy burger, after obtaining a vow from his co-workers to “not tell a soul.”
. . . [A] man should not work to put food on the table, his own table, and then come away from that table hungry. . . . [I]t is crucial that the home not become a place of tight-fisted denial, where wives become the governess of no, instead of the mistress of yes.
I have no idea how common this is. But I want to sidestep that question and take this in a different, but related, direction. There is one marriage, one family, one house and one table that will endure into eternity. These are the archetypes for our marriages, families, houses and tables. So, what kind of table do we believe that Jesus provides for his own bride? And what kind of table is Jesus’s bride setting for him? Is it a famine or a feast?
I’m referring to the Lord’s supper, the new covenant’s one food law and the fulfillment of all old-covenant feasts. We eat this meal together with Jesus at his table in his house. As his bride, we should adorn the table and prepare a kingly feast. And as priests to the king, we have the privilege and responsibility to serve at his request as his royal chefs. There are no more animal sacrifices, of course; we now offer ourselves and the work of our hands, however imperfect, for his evaluation and approval.
Grain and grapes are the Bible’s repeated image of the fruit of the blessed land. Transformed by man’s week-day labor into bread and wine, God uses them again and again to picture the food of the seated and reigning Messiah-king. Because we are seated with him, Jesus gives us a physical taste of his new kingdom; and it is the actual eating and drinking of real bread and wine that is sacramental, rather than merely reflecting on the idea of bread and wine. The Lord’s supper should, as much as possible, convey the greatness, goodness and richness of Jesus’s kingdom. Wherever possible, it is fitting for the church to enjoy the Lord’s supper weekly and to do so lavishly, with rich bread and good wine.