Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 20 November 2022
Now who would think that a slow cooker and an air fryer are, like the Mosaic Law, schoolteachers to bring us to God? OK, perhaps that’s a tad hyperbolic, but I have been reminded of a few spiritual lessons during the past couple of days while I’ve been planning this weekend’s menu. Leisa is a more efficient packer-upper than I am, so she’ll continue preparing our worldly possessions to move from Kirwan to West End, while I provide bodily sustenance in the form of slow cooker goat curry and air fryer roast emu. That’s two separate main meals, by the way, one for Saturday and one for Sunday, although I haven’t decided yet in which order.
Although goats have a bad rap in parts of the New Testament, sheep and goats and all that, in scripture generally they’ve been regarded as jolly good things. The OT patriarchs and their families would have starved without them. Genesis 1 and 3 tell us that they are gifts from God. As God’s creations and gifts, they are to be treated humanely. But when we eventually consume our goat curry, we acknowledge that “All things come from You”, and are grateful to God. Lesson 1.
But what of emu? There ain’t no emus in the Bible! Lesson 2, we shouldn’t extrapolate writings, some of them – or the oral tradition which preceded them - almost 3,000 years old, to a time and a context which has no bearing on God’s will and revelation in Christ for today. So don’t do it. Leviticus is useful, like all scripture (2 Tim 3), but we live in a new covenant of grace by which we interpret that scripture.
Lesson 3. I’m going to marinade the emu steaks in red wine. Both meat itself, and wine, are what the Bible calls “stumbling blocks” to some people. Sisters and brothers for whom Christ died. So I don’t discount their experience or understanding, but honour it as God-disclosed, and keep the dish to Leisa and me.
1 Corinthians 8: If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love … For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.