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There is a lot to celebrate at Christmas.

The Incarnation signals a renewed relationship between God and humankind, between heaven and earth, and between the peoples of the earth.”

So says Simon Holt in an Evangelical Alliance article, “Christmas Feast.”

Drawing on his own Christmas culinary cravings, and the work of L. Shannon Jung (Food for Life), Holt challenges us to reposition our understanding of Christmas roasts and all the trimmings into a Christ-centered perspective.

Holt writes:

The real joy of Christmas is found in connection, connection to God and each other.”

Food is a gift. From God. Making it sacred. (So says me reading Holt who read Jung). The problem is that we’ve become distanced from the gift-Giver, and we’ve become disconnected from other people and the earth – with whom, I’d argue, we can share this gift, and better appreciate it.

What am I going to do this Christmas to reconnect food and faith? Do you agree with Holt’s article…if so – how are you going to respond?

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I can’t resist asking “What would Jesus eat?” after reading this article on gluttony and our personal sense of wholeness. (See US based campaign “What Would Jesus Drive”? initiated by the Evangelical Environment Network, and also here for a history of the WWJD movement.)

Ryan Andrews challenges us to critically think about our eating habbits in relation to our Christian beliefs. He asks, in “…a society that rejoices in over-consumption…” what does our over-eating say about how we’re seeking fulfillment and what consequences does our eating have on others and the world?

Do we treat our bodies like a temple?

Do we use food or drink to fill that hole created by busy lives – with deficiencies in rest and relaxation…and I would add, relationships?

He specifically points out that his questions aren’t about getting us on a diet. Although he highlights that 67 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese (Australians are in the same league: the National Health Survey 2007-08 found 61 percent of the Australian population were overweight or obese), his concern lies with our behaviour and our relationship to food.

I confess, as I sat here reading this article I felt quietly smug. I’m pretty good at avoiding chips and the junk food section of the supermarket (although I do have a weakness for sweet foods). Yet Andrews argues that even someone who eats mostly healthy foods can be gluttonous. He’s got me there.

This is a thought-provoking article. He draws us to the global implications of what we put in our mouths – for the poor and the environment. One question I’d ask him is where he got his statistics on meat consumption in America: they’re pretty wild stats and, assuming they’re correct, are very challenging.

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