This month many of us will sit down to a Thanksgiving feast with family and friends. The table will be filled with the bounty of the earth and our lives. We will savor the special dishes and hopefully, we will thank God for our blessings, especially the abundance of food we enjoy.
Most of us take food for granted. Our cupboards and refrigerators are full. The grocery stores are a smorgasbord of choices galore. Rarely do we stop and think about where our food comes from or the systems of food production that keep our homes and stores so well stocked. Rarely do we consider our responsibility as stewards of God’s wondrous gift of food.
In the first chapter of Genesis, we learn that God gives us all the plants of the ground and every tree that bears fruit and seed to us for food (Genesis 1:29-31). When God surveys this divine arrangement, God declares it good. Later, after the flood, God adds living creatures like animals, fish and birds to our diet (Genesis 9:3). All of this bounty is for our sustenance, our nutrition and our enjoyment. As the psalmist sings, “You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart”(Psalm 104:14-15). Not only does God’s gift of food feed our bodies, but it feeds our hearts and spirits too!
As with all of God’s gifts to us, we are called to be good stewards of God’s gift of food and sustenance. Stewardship begins in gratitude. When we are grateful for the blessings we enjoy, we are far more likely to appreciate them and make sure they are used wisely. When we are grateful for our food, we are more likely to savor it and less likely to waste it. This is especially important today when our world is facing not only food shortages but the highest rates of food waste of any time in history. Food waste is not just a logistical and economic issue; it is a moral and spiritual issue for us as people of faith. If we are to be good stewards of God’s gift of food, then we are called to examine our own patterns of consumption and tackle the systems that allow such waste to continue and so many people to remain undernourished and hungry.
This Thanksgiving, how can we honor the gift of life that God gives us in the food we eat and enjoy? How can we be good stewards of God’s gift of food and ensure that everyone has enough to eat?
Our church already does wonderful work through our Food Pantry, Jan Peek, Noontime meal and Midnight Run. How might we express our gratitude to God and take our stewardship of food to the next level? Join us on Sunday, November 20, when we will give thanks to God for our many gifts and consider how we can reduce food waste so that more people may enjoy God’s good gifts of food and abundant life. We will also be holding a vegetarian potluck brunch following the 10:45 service.