The ripeness of a plum. The juiciness of a grapefruit. The dessert that makes your heart sing. The perfectly roasted chicken (from Zuni Cafe in San Francisco). A baguette toasted in the morning with a little butter. Risotto. A piece of salmon. Morel mushrooms. Pasta with pancetta and peas. A little butter. And wine. Of course. Wine. It’s food. It’s all glorious food.
Food is one of the most dynamic issues of our culture. Everything is changing about food too. How we grow food. Buy food. How we farm in a humane way. Some people have too little. Some too much. Food becomes a window into the diversity of the human family. Food is nutrition. Yes. Of course we need nutrition. But it’s more than nutrition. It is pleasure. And community. Food is joy and love and sharing.
Food is also deeply spiritual. No wonder virtually every world religion gathers people around a table. Food provides a kind of communion. With God. With one another. It reminds us of a larger hope we have for our humanity. Food nourishes the body. But food also nourishes the soul. There. I said it. Soul. And we are desperate for the soul to be fed.
This coming Sunday I open an October sermon series on food. I’ve titled the series — “God, That’s Good!” We will have two services each Sunday morning — 9 AM in Shatto Chapel and 11 AM in the Cathedral space of First Church. I am so excited about this series on food. I hope you’ll be in church this coming Sunday! Pick the service time that works for you. On October 7 we’ll have an opening for a new art exhibit at the church titled Alimento. That is the Spanish word for food. It means the communal / human / spiritual experience of sharing sustenance together.
As you can see from the photograph today, my office overflows with the art of food. It’s ready for installation. It’s going to be spectacular show. So Take a Breath today. Enjoy some good food this weekend. Share some food with friends. And then join me this coming Sunday for the beginning of what promises to be a delicious month at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.