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Banquet drawingWhen Adam and Eve disobeyed God, it was with food.

When the floods receded and Noah left the Ark, he offered a sacrifice to God and had a celebratory picnic.

When the Israelites commemorated their delivery from Egyptian slavery, they had a meal.

One of the great miracles in the Gospels is the feeding of 5000 people with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

Continuing the food theme, Jesus told a story about the kingdom of God in which a king threw a banquet and invited all his friends.

Most people like a good party. But in this story, the rich man’s friends all RSVP’d with a “sorry but I’ve got a better offer, and I won’t attend your fete.”

The king was enraged. He had spared no expense for his friends, and they didn’t give a care. In a gesture you wouldn’t expect from a person with such connections and advantages, the king de-invited his friends and then handed out engraved invitations on the streets in the worst part of town, inviting people who didn’t know which fork was which.

In a normal meal of that time, meat and vegetables were served in a great bowl and everyone at the table ate from it with their hands. But this was no normal meal. The king’s meal was sumptuous and wasteful. The fattest calves and the best wine were served along with dish after dish of vegetables. Served to people who would have appreciated a can of Spam. It was a feast.

The irony of this story is that none of the usual people showed up. At Jesus’ meal were the down-and-outs and the people from across the tracks. They were the ones who most appreciated the richness of the king’s meal.

Food tells us about ourselves. Unfortunately, the king’s friends did not appreciate the cuisine. They mistakenly believed that they could get better food elsewhere.