My family showed love through food. As my physique likely portrays, we showed love through rich, delicious, and absolutely terrible for you food. There was always a plate for another mouth at our table, and they would walk away full.
Also, people have dreams about my grandma’s scalloped potatoes and bacon. Like I said, rich, delicious, and terrible for you.
We also where poor. It would never be said – we always called ourselves “lower middle class” – but the reality is that we were poor. Despite that, our table was always open.
It always fascinated me that there would be people who would not offer up their table to their neighbors. There is very little in this world that I love more than feeding friends and having fellowship with them. Honestly, it brings me a selfish amount of joy to give friends, family, and strangers alike a delicious meal from my hands and from my resources.
The idea of eating a lavish meal in front of people who could not afford to join me feels absurd.
Three things have lined up to make it really relevant this week. One, the NFL changed the Super Bowl to the first week in February 15 seasons ago. Two, some ingenious people created the Souper Bowl of Caring in 1990 to collect food for the hungry to coincide with the big game. Three, protestant churches are not creative and typically have their monthly communion on the first Sunday of the month.
Interestingly, I also had a conversation around that passage in 1 Corinthians that our Words of Institution come from. It’s oddly apt that we would choose this passage from a larger passage about how rich people where gluttonously eating in front of poor, hungry people and creating a divide, and how doing that was a grievous sin against the Body of Christ.
I have more than enough. I am not rich by Corinthians standards – or 2018 American standards – but I have plenty. I just bought a new TV, I have an expensive computer, my car starts every morning, we are not living on scraps. I have more than enough, more than I probably thought I would ever have growing up.
And so I am helping feed the hungry on the day that I share a meal at the table with my Lord and the saints of every time and place, and a day that I cheer against the Eagles because I don’t particularly care who wins, just that the Eagles lose, which I realize means the Patriots win, but I really couldn’t care less about that.
I encourage you to use this Sunday and our communion as an opportunity to feed the hungry and help the needy. If you are in Fort Wayne and want to contribute to me losing my beard, Grace will definitely take your donations. But if you are anywhere, there is a church or school or another group that is collecting soup this week.
For more national information, check out SouperBowl.org, though it may not be the most up-to-date information on groups collecting. Or just give to food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens, and whoever else feeds the hungry.
We don’t eat our meal with our savior alone, and no one should go hungry, especially when we eat that meal. Let’s help make that a reality.