Sunday, July 17, 2016

Chow Down



Today we'll hear Luke's version of the meal Jesus ate with the sisters, Mary and Martha. You know the one. Mary yaks with Jesus and Martha ends up grumpy because she's doing the cooking. There are an impressive number of meal stories in the gospels. Jesus eats with the wrong crowd and religious leaders are scandalized. Jesus tells a parable about a banquet prepared for the mucky-mucks, and when they don't show the "least and the lost" are invited to chow down. And the last supper Jesus eats with his followers becomes The Last Supper, one of our two Protestant sacraments.

Meals bring people together and opens their hearts through their stomachs. I've mentioned that we've eaten at the Belleville mosque twice now and the Middle Eastern food was so good Ruth joked that she might be compelled to convert. Here is a story by David Farley in the New York Times which touches me:

Twice a month Anna Gyulai Gaal, a Hungarian-born journalist, turns her apartment in the Neuk├Âlln district of Berlin into a supper club through the dining service WithLocals.com, and calls the get-togethers Refugee Dinners. Her friends and strangers alike sign up and pay 35 euros or about $40 to partake in a multicourse feast that goes beyond the plate and the palate.
The cooks are Syrian refugees, women who have just arrived in Berlin after making the arduous trek across the Mediterranean and through Europe. Because of their refugee status, the cooks are not allowed to work and earn money, so Ms. Gyulai Gaal gives them the money she earns from the dinners.
Guests mingle with the cooks, hearing about the uprooted lives of people most have only read and heard about in the news: life in the refugee camps, what they left behind in Syria and, what the voyage was like to get to Germany.

Ms. Gyulai Gaal’s dinners aren’t the only events in Berlin that celebrate collaboration with refugees. The nonprofit group Give Something Back to Berlin puts on the Refugee Cooking Group, weekly dinners where Berliners and the newly arrived cook together, chat and share stories. Uber den Tellerrand organizes cooking classes led by Syrian and Afghani refugees in the Sch├Âneberg district.

Have you experienced meals which have opened you to others and changed attitudes. Can you recall meals that have been spiritual experiences? Would you be inclined to participate in a meal or cooking class like those described?

1 comment:

Judy said...

I would love to participate in a Middle east cooking event - with dinner to follow, of course. !