Skip to comments.Lent and Beyond: Lenten Meditations, continued: The Rev. Matt Kennedy
Posted on 03/22/2006 1:04:22 PM PST by sionnsar
Today from Lent and Beyond's Lenten Meditations series by Anglican bloggers, we have Dedicating Food to Idols by the Rev. Matt Kennedy. Rev. Kennedy is also a regular contributor to the Stand Firm blog and always has something worth thinking about--don't miss this meditation.
This is the twenty-fifth in a series of Lenten devotionals by a group of Anglican bloggers and friends. Todays entry is by Matt Kennedy, rector of Good Shepherd, Binghamton, NY and regular contributor on the StandFirm blog. You can read other entries in the series here.
Dedicating Food to Idols
by Matt Kennedy+
1st Corinthians 8:1-13
The Corinthians were persuaded that their freedom in Christ implied license not only to eat the meat of animals sacrificed during cultic feasts commonly sold in the markets but also to personally participate in the sacrificial feasts themselves. After all, they reasoned, the gods worshipped during these feasts are not really gods. God is one, there is no other.
Paul agrees with the principle. There is no other god but God (8:4). And he allows the consumption meat sacrificed to idols. The meat itself, created by God, is good even if it has been dedicated to a god. Later in the epistle (10:19-22), he forbids participation in the cultic feasts. To eat the meat is one thing. To consume it in the context of idolatrous worship is quite another. The gods are in fact demons. To eat and drink with them is to be complicit in their rebellion and deceit.
Food is good. Sharing food with demonic powers and principalities is not. All that God has created is good. But all created things can be twisted to evil use.
Use is key to chapter 8. The Corinthians know that the idols are not gods. They know that food sacrificed to idols is, essentially, good. But their use of this knowledge; the use of their freedom; their use of the food is not.
By freely, proudly, eating good food, even the sort bought in the market, they entice new believers just escaping idolatry back to their former lifestyle. In so doing, they use food to destroy those hungering for Christ (8:10-13). They use freedom to make new chains for those just escaping bondage (8:7) They turn good thingsfood, freedomto evil use.
Genesis 3 is replayed yet again. God creates. Man corrupts. Which side are we on?
Its not a one time choice.
I am surrounded and clothed by good things: car, home, food, money, time, body, mind, tongue, keyboard, mouse good things all. But, in one way or another, at one time or another, Ive managed to twist them: to hurt others; to rebel against my Lord. Even as a believer, Ive rededicated them to the gods.
But its not a one time choice.
Every day God sets these good things before us. Morning by morning believers stroll his garden and taste his food. This day is no different. Ill sit in front of my keyboard. Ill pick up the phone. Ill open my mouth and speak. Ill use my hands and my fingers. Ill think. Ill eat and drink.
Good things all.
How will I use them?
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