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Thursday, August 17, 2017

God Who Tastes



There’s a reason I saved this one for last.  I have never, ever heard anyone preach, teach, or even speak about the God who tastes.  In some way, I think it’s too difficult around which to wrap our minds.  We can wax metaphorical about sight, sound, and touch.  Admittedly, smell was a little more difficult.  But taste is so completely human.  It’s hard to create a sense of spirituality around something so common…

Interestingly, though, if we’re going to embrace the trinity, where Jesus is certainly one of the three; we might have more evidence of a tasting God than any other sense.  How often do we find Jesus around the table?  A lot…

Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners (see Mark 2).

Jesus presumably eats with his good friends: Martha, Mary, and Lazarus (see Luke 10) and a random guy he finds in a tree (see Luke 19).

Jesus feeds hoards of people with almost nothing… twice… (see Matthew 14 and 15).

The last thing Jesus does with his twelve disciples is to share the first Eucharistic meal (see Matthew 26), and then he becomes the Eucharistic meal… which is fascinating, since he also teaches that we are something of a food additive… salt of the earth (see Matthew 5).

Peter writes that we can actually taste the goodness of the Lord (see I Peter 2).

Jeremiah suggests that we can eat God’s words (see Jeremiah 15), and the author of Hebrews backs it up (see Hebrews 6).  Ezekiel takes it literally (see Ezekiel 3).

Why don’t we ever speak plainly about the God who tastes and… related… the God we can eat?  I’m not sure.  Maybe it’s because we’re afraid of the same repercussions that Jesus faced in John 6 or that the Catholic Church faced in light of a misunderstanding regarding cannibalism!  Seriously… I have no idea!

But clearly, in this search for holistic spirituality that encompasses physical sense as well as mind and spirit, taste is not to be excluded.

Gathering to eat together is one of the most vulnerable, intimate things we can do.  This past week, I learned that there has been a recent study regarding the impact that eating the same foods, with others, has on our relationship and interactions.  One observation from this study was, “Food is about bringing something into the body. And to eat the same food suggests that we are both willing to bring the same thing into our bodies. People just feel closer to people who are eating the same food as they do. And then trust, cooperation, these are just consequences of feeling close to someone” (read the whole article, here).  It’s incredible!  I wonder how we might cooperate more quickly, efficiently, and effectively if we were all eating Jesus!

L.