The End of Food

Here is the beginning and the (almost) end of a story:

“My little daughter is at the point of death…

“Little girl I say to you, arise.”

(Mark 4:23,41)

I love this story, because it is my story.  I was dead.  There was nothing I could do to reverse this.  Jesus said, “arise”.  Life came from death.  Somethingness from nothingness.  It. Was. Remarkable.

But it was not the end.  Before the Great Physician walked away, he prescribed some med that would become a routine when he,

“…told them to give her something to eat.” (v. 43)

Jesus is immensely practical: Food is medicine. The sustained growth of the body is a good thing so Jesus told her to take her medicine and be healed.  But to be clear, she did not eat to be resurrected she ate because she was resurrected.  Food does not give life, it sustains life.

Eating exists as the necessary follow up to creation.  God created us – we did not cooperate in our physical birth. We simply came to life.  However, we daily medicate our selves with food.  It’s the preventative medicine that fights off other disease.

Eat. Put food in your mouth and swallow it. That’s all. Don’t overthink it. No details. Just eat the food. Food is necessary to sustain alife that Jesus created and healed.  Therefore, food is good. It is good because it affirms that we have been created by God.  Food is our means of sustaining a life only God has the means to create.  We do not create life, we steward it.  He builds the house and we are the caretakers. This is why God is pleased when we aredisciplined.  The undisciplined person destroys what God created.  Servitude of self wrecks creation.  He alone creates life; we cannot create life, but we can wreck life.

So when we think of food we should consider it medicine.  This medicine is necessary.  It is a part of life.   Yet so many temptations lay in our way.  There is the temptation to overthink it. Obsessing over medication is itself a form of sickness.  Similarly we can over medicate ourselves with food; this excess leads to more sickness.  Gluttony is taking the right medication for the wrong problem.  Often over eating is taking the right food for the wrong problem  A spiritual problem needs spiritual food.  Food is not the end, it’s the almost end.

The end of life is Christ and in that end, when medicine is no longer needed, we will share an eternal meal with him with a body that needs no medication.  This is odd really.  The food in heaven is not for sustenance; it is for the pleasure of celebration alone.  So, those who see Christ as the end, and not food, will celebrate with food in the end.  The goal now is simply to daily take our medication, knowing the end is near.

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