In Search of Life

I blame the election and all my conservative friends for distracting me from my passionate pursuit of a theology of food. As numerous people suggested at Slow Food Nation ’08 the issues of this election and agenda of both candidates (health care, economic reform, and climate change) will all inevitably run into the issue of food. So, perhaps those conversations should have been happening over here.

If you care, here’s an update on my journey towards my ethical food fetish. If not… move on. Nothing to see here.

My wife and I continue to wrestle with our plans for the future. I graduate from seminary in December. Our goal is to somehow live at the World Hunger Farm for a year as interns to gain practical skills and knowledge, as well as connections, for our future. However, this internship comes only with a place to live and food to eat (very good food mind you). We own a house and have two kids. It quickly becomes apparent how easily we all become embedded in the American way of life without a second though to its implications.

For us this is about living out the gospel as we understand it in the most holistic way possible. The process of trying to save money for a year, downsize our material possessions and prepare to sell our house has been enlightening to say the least. We have become acutely aware of our “stuff” and how much of it there is. It also brings out all of our assumptions about what is necessary and what is luxury. Just because we have a particular standard of living in this country, (single family detached housing, two cars, etc.) does not make it necessary.

On top of all of this I just finished reading Missions and Money for a class and was very challenged. While the Bible does not condemn people just for being wealthy, it certainly judges those who live in affluence strictly for their use of that wealth. Jesus goes so far as to say that it would be easier for a camel to saunter through the eye of a needle than a wealthy person find God. And why should they? They don’t really need God, do they? What pierces the heart is realizing that I am the wealthy whether I like it or not.

To bring it back to food… A lot of people don’t want the solution to our problems with food and economics to involve sacrifice. We can simply spend our way out of the problem. Or we can harness the power of the consumer and economic self-interest. The truth is that our problems (like most) cannot be solved without sacrifice. This is the way of the cross. This is the way I hope to live out the gospel with my family.

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