Last night at youth group we spent some time in the kitchen, talking about how we nourish ourselves. The juniors made soup, the seniors made analogies: spiritual metabolism, spiritual bran, spiritual heartburn. Later, we talked about where food comes from and making ethical choices around food, the impact of films like SuperSize Me and Food Inc. I shared my childhood experience of living on a farm and eating our own livestock. Yes, we named our animals.
In Genesis, God says,
“Everything that lives and moves will be your food. Just as I gave you green grasses, now I give you everything.” (Genesis 9:3, CEB)
This writer weaves a tale of a society moving from a hunter gatherer to an agrarian society. As a story of God’s action, I wonder. Why did God change humankind’s relationship with the animals, so that now humans can eat the animals?
I wonder if it was because Noah took care of them, and so now knew what it meant to eat another of God’s creatures. On the ark, Noah and his family were in the minority, one of many species that God created. Perhaps God reserved that right to eat animals until humankind could regard this source of food as beloved creatures of God, just like humans. If you would eat it, you must respect it, love it and, when the time comes to eat, give thanks for its life.
And all of this is the result of God’s promise to us, to never destroy, to love, to sustain and never abandon.
As I have been reflecting on this passage today, this song has been rolling around, an expression of love and sharing good things. I could sense God’s voice in the lyrics. I share it with you.
Day 4: Genesis 8:1-9:17
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