I recently finished an extended fast. In the past few years, I have begun to better understand myself (and others) as wholly embodied humans - fully connected in mind/body/spirit. So when someone would find out about the fast she/he would usually ask if I was doing it for spiritual or physical reasons, and my answer was “yes.” We, as humans, spend a lot of time centered on food - its purchasing (or growing), preparation, consumption, and clean up. Food is a necessity for survival, but especially in a country which thrives on consumeristic consumption, it can easily move toward an unhealthy space.
One day during the fast, I was listening to a podcast about the water crisis in Africa. I came undone as I grappled with the privilege of choosing a fast when people all over the world are starving. We eat too much. I eat too much. Over-consumption (of everything, really) is an American addiction. Our relationship with food is indicative of our tendency toward greed, power, and perhaps even a general unawareness that we, as a human race, are intimately connected to each other and have a moral and ethical responsibility to consume less.
So when I see the community of believers in Acts 2, I see a group who seem to understand that food is connected to sharing. Food is connected to relationship. Food is connected to the kingdom of God. Food isn’t about our need to self-satisfy, it is something that grounds us to what it means to be fully human, sharing in community and relationship with the world. It’s a lesson I’m just beginning to learn.