Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 75

VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2 A JOURNAL FOR THE THEOLOGY OF CULTURE that he is giving of himself. He’s not just raining manna down from heaven. He’s giving his Son. And he uses Father/Son language, too. I think that it should be shown that this is a much more powerful thing that’s going on than the manna provision was hearkening to. It was foreshadowing. BH: Yes, so for the manna provision, Jesus takes it to the next level in two ways. One, you ate the manna and you died. It didn’t keep you alive forever. It didn’t bring you spiritual life. It gave you daily life. In fact, in the manna provision, you were only supposed to collect enough for one day and you have to keep going out. And it keeps you alive physically. And here Jesus connects the life of food to the life of God, and the gift of food to the gift of life. So do we turn that around for ourselves and think, When I’m giving food to someone, all I’m giving is physical sustenance? Or, is food too for us, ought food for us to be a symbol of life so that as we give food we also give spiritual life? We give something that points to spiritual life because we care about people beyond their physical life. And that’s something that is certainly happening in this passage. Revelation 3:20 is an interesting passage at the end of this biblical story. That’s where Jesus is speaking to the seven churches in the first three chapters of Revelation. This is the church of Laodicea. And this is the church where he says, “I don’t have a lot of good things to say to you; I wish you were hot or cold, but you’re just lukewarm people in your commitment to me. You’re very self-centered, so I’m going to spit you out of my mouth” (Rv 3:15–16). In the midst of this, Jesus imagines himself as outside their community. They are not really focused on him. They are focused on selfconsumption rather than the consumption of Christ. And he imagines himself. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock” (Rv 3:20). So, he imagines himself being outside of the building that is them. He wants to come in, and he wants to eat with them. So again, we see here this idea of eating as relationship. Think with me for a moment about eating as relationship. Jesus coming in and eating. People eating together. Think of the family dinner table. What are the relational things that happen at the family dinner table? Isn’t the family dinner table a place of intensity in terms of family relationships? Talk to me about that. Man 4: I live in a house with six other guys. And when we have our community dinners every Monday night, it’s either a time of encouragement and prayer or just a time to laugh and connect and share stories and tell jokes and be goofy. And it’s always just a very strong community. Man 5: I think that’s where the bulk of your family relationships comes from. That’s the time when you’re putting aside all the other activities and 72