I had this brilliant idea to start a Lenten blog series about mission to help you understand a bit about what A Movable Feast does, who we are, what’s our end goal and the like. And then I started to write…

Have you ever sat down to write a blog post about mission? It turns into theoretical abstraction very quickly.

Zzz…

It was perhaps the worst painstakingly crafted dribble that I have ever written. Abstract concepts or conversations really need to be grounded in something concrete to be interesting. So let’s get away from abstraction.

Let’s start with food.

Why start with food, you may ask? Well… the most obvious reason is that in A Movable Feast, we start with food. What people first learn about A Movable Feast is that we give away food gratis, often from our food truck (though sometimes from a food tent or table if that works better…the emphasis here is on being mobile).

We share food because as Christians we are trying to connect with the world around us and see what God is already doing there. We aren’t trying to bring the word of God to you because as Episcopalians we already think the Word of God is working within you. So we don’t need to convert you. We just need to connect with you because we’re missing a part of ourselves without you. And one of the best ways to connect is by eating a meal together.

Certainly the power of a meal to connect people is sufficient reason to start with food. But I think if we’re honest, there is a much more primal urge behind the power of food. I was reading the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden the other day and I got in my mind this vision of a place where human beings were walking around comfortable in their own skin, without the slightest bit of hostility between people or animals, and where eating food was as easy as reaching into a tree and grabbing it. It reminded me of picking blackberries on my grandparents’ farm when I was little in a tank top and jean shorts, probably not even wearing shoes…completely carefree and enjoying the freshest berries I’d ever eat. Isn’t that what we all dream about?

Oh the world is so not that way anymore.

For Adam and Eve, the idyllic life is shattered and they’re told “by the sweat of your face you will eat bread—until you return to the fertile land.” For us, we grow up and realize that there are few places you can show up in bare feet and be considered respectable. Nor are there many places where you can just take produce and eat it without cost. Life becomes about striving within a stratified system. And if life ever really was simple enough where all we had to do was take and eat, it becomes a dim, distant memory.

That is the curse.

That’s why what we do in A Movable Feast has the power to be prophetic and revolutionary. By giving away food, we are actively breaking the curse that says food is something that we earn by the sweat of our brows. By sharing a meal with people of all races, creeds, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds as equals, we are actively breaking the curse and say that this system we’re in that makes us either unequally submissive or unequally powerful is MESSED UP.

Quite simply, we do this because that’s what Jesus did. Jesus ate with the rich, the poor, the sinners, the self-proclaimed righteous. He ate with everyone. And he did it to break the curse that separated people, creation, and God. Jesus was the true revolutionary when he invited people to “take and eat” and offered nourishing food that reminds us that we all look forward to a place where eating food is as easy as reaching into a tree and grabbing it.