May 12, 2009

Funeral Food

In the Bible stories that tell of events after Jesus’ death, there is a lot of eating going on. The two disciples from Emmaus have supper with the risen Christ; Christ shows up in a locked upper room and asks if there is anything to eat; he cooks breakfast for the disciples on the beach. This, apparently, is what you do after someone has died: you eat. Certainly, we have done that. Our friends and neighbors have brought wonderful, comforting, abundant food: fried chicken, barbeque, casseroles, pound cakes, strawberry pies, devilled eggs, butter beans, ham, homemade biscuits, gallons of iced tea. We have eaten food from the hands of those who love and care about us, and it has nourished our bodies and our souls. We have been fed and comforted, renewed and strengthened. And in that eating, that food, we have known the presence of the risen Christ, just as those sorrowful people did so long ago.

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