A Place at the Table: Day 18

Sunday – Feast day!  It’s such a freeing, positive feeling to walk into the kitchen on Sunday mornings, put the coffee on to brew, and then think about all the wonderful things I can eat. For breakfast, I left the bananas aside and had peanut butter and jelly. Such a simple thing – but boy was it good. Part of me thought I was silly for sticking with peanut butter, when I’ll be eating that for the rest of the week (most likely), but it’s what I wanted.

For lunch at church, the potluck featured two different types of Indian curry, fresh fruit, pizza, and some of the biggest cupcakes I’ve ever seen.  Scrumptious.  Dinner was pakcakes, sausage, and cooked apples.  Delightful.  In between, I sipped a large mug of afternoon coffee. Serene.

I ended the day thankful for all the good things there are to enjoy on our plates – and even more thankful that I am able to enjoy many of them.  “Fine dining” is out of my reach except on the most special of occasions; but this fast has taught me that very simple things can yield incredible (and healthy) dishes.  Thinking we have to pay $30+ for a “nice” meal isn’t just wrong, it’s downright sinful.  Yes, I think that’s right: it’s sinful.  Such an attitude has more to do with gorging our egos than nourishing our bodies, especially in a country where there are people starving in the midst of abundance.

Lord, thank you for the joys of today’s feast. Continue to show me how to enjoy the good gifts of the table without making an idol out of that which I eat.   Amen.

Leave a comment


  1. David Chastain

     /  March 7, 2013

    How do you balance that line of thinking with capitalism and supporting small businesses/establishments that support the livelihood of many in our country?

    • Hi, David. I’m certainly not suggesting that it is sinful to enjoy a nice meal – even an expensive one. I enjoy a filet mignon as much as anybody. Pleasure is a gift from God, gastric or otherwise. I reject Puritan and acetic notions that a Christian life must be an austere one.

      I should also clarify I was thinking of the cost of an individual’s meal. $30 is not a lot of money for, say, a family of four to eat out, especially when a tip is factored in.

      What I am reacting to in my reflection here is our tendency to judge the nice-ness (quality) of a meal (or anything else for that matter) based on its price tag. That’s not to say price has nothing to do with it; the most basic survey of the highly processed goop that passes for food on our store shelves demonstrates there is a relationship between cost and quality.

      However, I think there comes a point at which pride enters the equation. We buy certain brands and eat at certain establishments because that’s what people of a certain level of accomplishment or sophistication do. Food then becomes a status symbol, and at that point we’re skating around the edges of idolatry.

      As far as balancing my view with capitalism, I feel no need to since capitalism (like all earthly economic systems) is not in any way fundamentally or inherently Christian. It’s the system we live in, and we cannot escape participating in it. But like all systems it has strengths and weaknesses. As people of faith, I think we are obligated to evaluate it in terms of the gospel. We should never evaluate the gospel in terms of capitalism.


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