Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 13

VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2 A JOURNAL FOR THE THEOLOGY OF CULTURE diapers, they moved into a commune called Earth Bridge that was literally twenty minutes down the road from Woodstock. And that’s how I got my start. They didn’t know anything about growing food, and that’s why I went hungry as a child a little and all of that. When I was in high school, my uncle, my dad’s brother who was raised Jewish, came out to California. He partook of the subculture of the sixties, had a conversion experience thanks to the Salvation Army, went to Bethany Bible College, and became an Assemblies of God pastor. He was going back to Israel for the second time to pursue the woman he had met in the hotel elevator whom he thought was cute and, well, now she’s my aunt. Thanks to my Christian grandparents, I had the chance to go to Israel as a fifteen-year-old high school student. I had read a few children’s Bible stories: Jonah and the whale, Daniel and the lions’ den, Jesus walking on the water, but that was it. I went to church a handful of times, synagogue once or twice for cousins’ bar mitzvahs. So I got there thinking, maybe there’s something up there. Over the few weeks in 1985, I was struck more than anything else by the power of the place, the holy land. I said, “Okay God, I think you’re up there. I want to learn about you.” But I didn’t think I was going to learn about God by walking across the street in my town of six hundred people to the white clapboard Presbyterian church that was there. So I found the family Bible, the leather-bound King James Version that my uncle had given my dad years before. I didn’t even know there were different versions of the Bible. I thought, “Okay, I’ll read it. That’s where I’ll find God.” So I started in Genesis and a year and a half later finished in Revelation, and along the way came to believe. And that is the foundation for me and why I feel called as my vocation to help feed hungry folks. I couldn’t get around the two-anda-half-thousand verses that talk about the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the hungry. There was no filter reading one part and not another. I felt compelled to read every last word that was there, and I couldn’t get around God’s concern for those who didn’t have enough. So I wanted to spend the first part of my time with you today on the foundation. This will be just a sampling of some of the theology of food. Think of this as the sample platter of Scripture and sustenance, the Bible and food. I have seven nuggets from Scripture connected with themes around food: food, famine, foraging, fasting, feasting, fairness, and finally fellowship. Let’s start from Genesis 1, starting in the fifth day, verse 20. And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every 10