Christmas Food and New Year Resolutions
I do hope that you had a refreshing and enjoyable time over Christmas whoever you spent it with, and however much you ate. As we embark on the journey through another year, today we are reflecting on the place of food in life and the way in which, at this time of year, we often make decisions to change – change what we do and the kind of people we are.
Our Priestfield studies in Luke’s Gospel are going to include several thinking about what Jesus did and said at meals. You don’t have to read far in Luke before you find references to food, meals, banquets, suppers and the like. Food not only had an important role in sustaining the body for work; the context in which it was eaten was the hub of Jesus’ engagement with other people. He taught, healed, forgave, discussed and reprimanded around the table. It was a place of gracious hospitality and a method for mission.
On New Year’s Day, we reflect on the call of Levi and his response to Jesus (Luke 5) – throwing a great banquet to introduce Jesus to others. As he responded to the call, ‘Follow me,’ he knew it was the start of a new life and that he had to change his ways. This meal was a sign to others that he was a new man.
In our culture, Christmas and New Year are times when food is especially important to us – we often eat with family and strangers at meals and parties; we give and receive hospitality. May these be times when, like Levi, we are able to introduce people to Jesus, and when we realise that there are things that need to change in our lives as well.
Living as disciples means that the past cannot be allowed to enslave us and that the future is open to be shaped for us by Jesus. May 2012 be an open future when each of us, individually and congregationally, realises that Jesus is holding on to us as we walk through the dark valleys and sunny pathways.
Have a good week! Only 359 sleeps to Christmas.