People who know me like to joke about my love for things like coffee and krispee Kreme donuts. And I’ll occasionally get thoughtful concern from some of you who eat, what you consider to be healthier foods… so I’ve started collecting articles on the health benefits of coffee…it’s amazing how many there are. In fact drinking coffee may be the healthiest thing I do. But in reality my love for food extends beyond coffee and donuts.
I like other foods; like Lynn’s cinnamon rolls, chocolate covered rice krispee bars, and turkey chili. I love a good t-bone steak with garlic smashed potatoes. I don’t like lutefisk and even tho I’ve never had it, I’m fairly certain that I don’t like ochra or grits. I love Halloween. I know that’s not a food…but it is a food group… where else but America could I send my kids out into neighborhoods to collect a year’s supply of chocolate? I love bacon from the Waffleshop, fresh squeezed grapefruit juic from Florida, Sees Candy from California, chocolate chip banana bread from Maui, and seafood chowder from Kelly’s.
I could go on and on. It’s amazing how many good memories are connected with food and meals. That’s why I think it’s hard for me to fathom the idea of a famine. Most likely few reading this blog post have ever experienced a food-famine. Few of us have ever had to wonder where our next meal would come from…or if it would come. Isn’t that why our hearts connect when we hear stories about children at the orphanages in Myanmar, Rwanda and the Dominican Republic? A recent Christianity Today article estimated that 25,000 people die every day from hunger-related illnesses and 850 million people are chronically hungry.
Death by famine is a slow, painful death…that includes physical weakness, susceptibility to disease, mental confusion and the inability to focus or reason, lethargy and death. We see those pictures every once in awhile, starving children, extended bellies. We can’t watch long, because it is so hard to watch someone starve. Understand this…when it comes to the cultures of the Bible, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, the people were more familiar with famine than they were with fast food. They were an agrarian culture, shaped by poverty, more like Africa than the U.S.
One time Jesus quoted words from the OT book of Deuteronomy. He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone.” We hear those words and we are tempted to think…of course, we must have peanut butter and jelly. We need to understand that Jesus wasn’t referring to the easily accessible wonder bread that we can walk into any Weiss market and pick up off the shelf. To the people in Jesus day, bread alone was all they had. Bread was life. Without bread there was no life.
So when Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone — and then continued with the words — but by every word that come from the mouth of God.” Jesus was saying there is no life without the Word of God. Tonight Lynn and I are going to some friend’s house for dinner. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great Italian meal. Then I’m going to come home and read my Bible.
I need both for life.