Parish Link - February 2024

Food, culture, and religion

Food, culture, and religion

Dear Friends,

How do you feel about haggis? Come to our Scottish Night (Friday 2nd February) if you feel brave of heart, to sample some of the ‘Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race’. Or if Scottish delicacies don’t tickle your taste buds, come to our traditional pancake party on Shrove Tuesday (13th February). 

Food, culture, and religion are closely intertwined. 

Jesus was accused of being ‘a glutton and a winebibber’ (Luke 7.34). He clearly treasured time with friends around the table, so much so, that he told them to remember him forever by ‘breaking bread’ together. Because this was his invitation, every time we share Holy Communion, we become the guests of Jesus. 

Lord Rowan Williams writes movingly about what this means. He reminds us that the story of the eucharist begins with a reference to Jesus’ betrayal: ‘In the night he was betrayed, Jesus took bread…’. Judas Iscariot was present at the last supper too. Lord Williams writes: ‘There is still, in many parts of the Christian world, a kind of assumption that Holy Communion is something for 'the holy'. [… But] Holy Communion is no kind of reward: it is, like everything about Jesus Christ, a free gift. We take Holy Communion not because we are doing well, but because we are doing badly. Not because we have arrived, but because we are travelling. Not because we are right, but because we are confused and wrong. Not because we are divine, but because we are human. Not because we are full, but because we are hungry.’ (Rowan Williams, Being Christian, pg 53).

The day after we celebrate our pancake party, we begin the journey through Lent. It is the time in which we remember that all of us carry the potential to betray God. We are weak. But Jesus feeds us. Come and rest around his table.

Love and prayers

Revd Johannes Nobel