Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Some Food For Thought

Meal with Jesus.indd

I have just finished reading this book, which was a birthday present. It is by Tim Chester and published by IVP

The blurb says

Meals have always been important across societies and cultures - a time for friends and families to come together. An important part of relationships, meals are vital to our social health. Or as author Tim Chester puts it, Food connects.

Tim argues that meals are also deeply theological - an important part of Christian fellowship and mission. He observes that Luke's Gospel is full of stories of Jesus at meals. And these meals represent something bigger… Moving from New Testament times to today, the author applies biblical truth to challenge our contemporary understandings of hospitality. He urges sacrificial giving and loving around the table, helping readers consider how meals can be about serving others and sharing the grace of Christ.

The book’s six chapters set out Chester’s argument thus

  • Meals as Enacted Grace: Luke 5
  • Meals as Enacted Community: Luke 7
  • Meals as Enacted Hope: Luke 9
  • Meals as Enacted Mission: Luke 14
  • Meals as Enacted Salvation: Luke 22
  • Meals as Enacted Promise: Luke 24

It is clearly rooted in Scripture, and but Chester also quotes from a diverse range of other authors [and he illustrates his points wonderfully using film references too] I don’t think he has said anything particularly ‘new’ – but do I like the way he has brought together a ‘theology of mealtime’. I have read it once, in two sittings – but now want to go back and re-read it more slowly, savouring each mouthful, digesting it properly.

At the end of Christian Aid Week, when I have also been thinking about the IF campaign, and those who go to bed hungry each night, it has been a useful exercise to consider my own attitude to food. And to remember to be truly grateful for every plateful. 

I would recommend this book because it is a challenging read –but you don’t need a theology degree to understand it! *****

Thank you, Mags and family for this great gift!


  1. I feel that mealtimes are sacred times. Shared mealtimes even more so.
    Jane x

  2. I've been reading a good bit lately about food and faith, the spiritual side of food, etc. I'll definitely put this on my list!


  3. Well, at least you've read your copy- mine is still staring at me from under the bed! Glad you liked it x

  4. Oooh, sounds really good!x

  5. Hi Angela -- This is so fascinating! I don't know if this is just coming up on Christians' radar screens, or if I'm just the last to know :), but my hubby and I have talked a lot about this subject too in recent years. How the OT Passover meal is transferred directly into the Lord's Supper by our Lord's very hands, and then we continue it straight on at the wedding feast of the Lamb when we get to God's heaven. It's clearly of immense importance to Him. Have you heard of the book "The Supper of the Lamb" by Robert Farrar Capon? I think it was loaned to us last summer, and I read a bit of it, but my husband liked it a lot. It deals with the same thoughts, the importance of eating together in a spiritual way.

  6. Sounds good! I was struck by a similar emphasis in the book 'Living on Purpose' which points out that the Kingdom of God is not a set of rules, and not an exercise in denial, but is repeatedly described as a Feast!

  7. I like the sound of this book. I wonder if I can get it for my Kindle? :)

  8. I just had to buy it! This is one of my favorite "think abouts" right now.
    Thank you for sharing.


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