Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 9

VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2 A JOURNAL FOR THE THEOLOGY OF CULTURE hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”5 In addition to our homes, Mother Teresa would have us remedy such problems in conference settings, too. With this point in mind, we have structured this conference so that we all share a meal together. We’re going to have a meal today at lunch. It’s not part of the admission fee; it was structured as part of the budget that we would share a meal together, and we have some food carts that are coming that are going to make food available for us. We ask that you consider taking the money that you would normally pay for your lunch and give it to one of the nonprofits that are here that work in the sphere of food quality, quantity, and redistribution. Table fellowship bound up with prayer should move us beyond negative forms of consumption to communion. The incarnate Lord showed us how to pray and how to approach food. Not only did he model how to pray and eat, but also his entire life, death, resurrection, and ascension make possible a new order of being. His cosmic redemption reorders life so that we no longer fall prey to eating in disorderly ways. Unfortunately, this negative pattern was evident in how the Corinthian church approached the Agape Feast—this faith community failed to take seriously the profound import of Christ’s atoning work for community life bound up with the Lord’s Table (See 1 Cor 11:17–34). Christ’s church is called to reflect rather than resist this new order of communal being enacted in Christ’s atoning work. Fortunately, not everyone in the early church failed to account for Paul’s teaching on the Eucharist. How about us? Do we understand that for Paul, Jesus is the living icon—the ultimate image of God and creaturely life who reveals to us how we are to live and move and have our being before God— including our approach to food and table fellowship? Do we understand that Jesus calls us to be concerned for the quality, quantity, and redistribution of food as the spotless Lamb of sacrifice, so that we would consume food in a new way for the whole creation? May we take to heart the teachi ng of Paul, and of second-century theologian Irenaeus of Lyons, who held that the Eucharist images Jesus’s recapitulation and transformation of the whole 5. One can locate an earlier source for this quotation at “Homelessness: An Important Issue in the United States of America,” UWUB Program, accessed March 19, 2016, http://depts.washington.edu/triolive/quest/2007/TTQ07033/history.html. 6