Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chef Jesus

We went to see Chef this past week, a Jon Favreau film with a great cast. At times it is rather predictable but in the end it is a worthwhile story of a precocious chef who realizes he has drifted from edgy to establishment in terms of his menu at a high-end restaurant. After a melt-down directed at a critic who is withering in his disdain for the predictability of the chef's fare he is disgraced and fired. He returns to his roots in Miami and then hits the road in a food truck as a kind of pilgrimage to re-establish his creativity.

Chef's ten-year-old son accompanies him, a boy who  has longed for time with his over-worked and distracted father. Along the way the boy learns to cook and demonstrates his own strengths through promoting the truck on social media.

Of course, I see this story as a Christian parable -- would you expect anything else from a minister? Jesus was something of a foodie, enjoying meals with people at the edge of a culture where there were strict dietary protocols. His last meal has become one of the key sacramental aspects of our Christian faith. Somehow, though, our menu has become very predictable and many expressions of the Christian church are dismayed that people find our fare bland and uninspiring. Maybe we can reimagine Jesus as the creative, innovative chef of our faith once again.

In Chef the word gets out that the food truck is coming to town. The hungry and the curious line up for what is being served. Wouldn't it be great if we could set out on a new adventure, a new pilgrimage with Chef Jesus?

Have you seen this film? Do we need more than "comfort food" in the church today? What would our faith-full food truck look like, and what would we put on the menu? And what about making little chefs, as disciples?


Judy Mcknight said...

That kind of scenario reminds me of the old fashioned tent meetings that came to town , and everyone got excited, and lots got saved ... and many more just liked the gospel music - and the chance to meet a sweetheart! But the nourishing meals still happen in the home church, as well as the challenge to grow in the spirit.

David Mundy said...