Creatureliness

April 14, 2020

 

Church of the Resurrection Insights Blog

Luke 24:33-43

 

In eating, Jesus invites me to live more honestly in my own creatureliness, not as a liability but as a gift.

 

As a Christian who is United Methodist, sometimes I joke that potluck dinners are one of our sacraments. In fact, sometimes I think that Methodists may not be sure God will show up anywhere unless there is food!

 

Jesus’ behavior in this story may back me up. Of all the things Jesus could have done to demonstrate his real presence with his followers, he asks what’s for dinner. You think he might choose some awesome display of divine power, but as his disciples were “wondering and questioning” (v. 41), his response is to show he’s a regular person with a human body that needs to eat. He’s not some disembodied divinity on a cloud somewhere. He’s right there with them, ready to eat.

 

I love how simple and earthy Jesus is in this story. He asks to eat, living in his own creatureliness with ease, not embarrassment. He doesn’t downplay his humanity or hide his body. All creatures need to eat, and perhaps that is why eating is so central to Jesus’ ministry and to our life of Christian practice. Eating reminds us that we are creatures, needful of sustenance. Jesus does not hesitate to demonstrate this need and, in fact, we find him eating with folks a lot in the gospels.

 

In eating, Jesus invites me to live more honestly in my own creatureliness, not as a liability but as a gift. What if I saw my creaturely needs for food, for rest, for balance, as one way of sharing in human, creaturely life as Jesus did? The need to pause in our busy-ness and eat a solid meal or the need to stop and rest are not personal failures. They are invitations to embrace this bodily life as Jesus did.

 

During this COVID-19 pandemic we are more aware than ever of our status as creatures. And I’m grateful for the ways we are all embracing this bodily life through washing our hands, covering our mouths and caring for each other’s bodies with social distance. We recognize both the fragility and strength of our bodies, as we embrace this creaturely life together.

 

So now, we might ask with Jesus, what’s for dinner?

 

So now, we might ask with Jesus, what’s for dinner?

 

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