The Parson’s Table is the portion of my blog dedicated to exploring the riches contained in an ancient command from the book of Psalms that we should ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’.
The human story as it is recorded in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures begins and ends with eating, and its fair to say that throughout those pages feasts, famines, fasts, and celebratory, ritual meals play a central role in the unfolding drama of God’s love. Indeed, the highest point of the Jewish year is a Feast – Passover – and the highest moment in Christian worship is its fruit – the Eucharist. Around these feasts, we eat our ‘daily bread’, and deploy creative talents in the cultivation of oils, fruits, grains, vegetables, and meats that are harvested and transformed from raw ingredients to spectacular offerings for the human palate and desire. We long to share meals with others, finding solitary dining to be an unhappy experience. We prepare special foods for special days, from holidays to birthdays. We seek to bring food to our neighbors and friends when they suffer, and seek to ‘share our bread with the hungry’ by assisting those without sufficient sustenance.
Why is this so? Why do we value the appearance, texture, scent, and taste of food and drink so highly? Why are we omnivorous and why do we find in food’s presence everything from hope for romance to faith in divine mysteries?
I’m employing this space to share with others the discoveries I’m making along the journey into a hopefully more meaningful embrace of the beauty of grace seen in both kinds of food we need so very much: the very perishable yet potentially artistic and hypnotic food with which we feed our bodies, as well as the imperishable, often very plain food with which we feed our souls. I will be posting about my favorite chefs, dishes, restaurants, recipes, kitchen successes and failures, food history, food education, along with theological reflections and observations, poetry, and links to other authors and sites that will help us all to receive with grateful hearts and open mouths the abundant blessings of the Almighty.