Wirzba: ”We are so gnostic”

Några kommentarer till kapitel 4, om köttätande och offer, kommer (förhoppningsvis..) under dagen. Reflektera under tiden över Wirzbas kommentar i en interjvu med The Other Journal.

TOJ: You have said that as we grow up, food plays a big role in our church life. And we see this, for example, in Sunday potlucks. Why is it, though, that we fail to see the connection between food and the gospel? How can we be faithful eaters?

NW: We are so gnostic, even when we’re trying not to be. We really think that Christianity is about saving souls and getting our souls to heaven. Church members get together to eat all this unhealthy food that has been destructive to the land and abusive of animals and agricultural workers, and we do this because we really don’t think our bodies matter. This is, of course, in direct violation of what the Gospel teaches—that Jesus becomes incarnate, in the flesh, and is seeking the reconciliation of all bodies in creation. And so, because we have become so gnostic in the way we think about the world, there can be a disconnection between our lives and the message of the good news, which Colossians 1:23 says has been preached to all creatures. This biblical directive should change dramatically the way we relate to each other in bodily form.

You might also say that we’re captive to the culture and thus eat the same way everybody else does. I’m not in a position to judge how everybody else eats because I’m not a perfect eater myself, so I must be careful here and can’t go around pointing the finger. However, I think that as we read scripture together and reflect on what eating looks like when understood in a scriptural way, we’re going to start changing some of the things we do when we have a church potluck. Maybe we will second-guess using the cheapest meats and vegetables and will be willing to purchase meats and vegetables that were raised responsibly. Maybe we’ll think about whether we’re serving our food on Styrofoam or disposable products that are not compostable. Maybe we will start asking questions about who is doing the cooking—is it assumed that the women do all the cooking and cleanup and that the men just sit around and eat, or is this a shared kind of work? Once we bring a eucharistic or christological imagination to this very basic, simply wonderful action of eating together as a church, you just never know what’s going to be the result, what kinds of good things can happen from that. I happen to think that if churches ate together more frequently that would be tremendous because so much good ministry can happen when people are around a table, eating together, sharing their life. I don’t think we should ever underestimate the importance of that. Yet we must make sure that act of eating together is a faithful witness to the kind of eating Christ wants us to do.


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