Food as an act of theology?

Food as an act of theology

Maybe it’s because at the moment we are up to our ears in planting seeds, milking the calf and welcoming baby-everything to the farm. Chicks, ducks, lambs, piglets, etc. Maybe it’s because we spend a little too much time in our own heads. Maybe it’s because we are a bit theological geeks first and then we became farmers. (Did you know Gana actually has a Master’s Degree in theology from Fuller Seminary?) Maybe it’s the innate desire of every person to feel that they are participating in meaningful work. Whatever the reason, we feel compelled today to share a little bit of the divinity hidden in the stuff of earth.

Kylo Farm and The Gombojav Family

You know, it’s easy to see things like going to Church or on a missions trip or Bible studies and things of that ilk as religious or spiritual. And they are. But, we propose that digging in our soil, shoveling manure, making cheese–these things are also religious and spiritual and good and blessed and holy. They are certainly part of our sanctification. Sometimes the veil between theology and ecologically is very thin.

“Perhaps the greatest disaster of human history is one that happened to or within religion: that is, the conceptual division between the holy and the world, the excerpting of the Creator from the creation….and this split in public attitude was inevitably mirrored in the lives of individuals: A man could aspire to heaven with his mind and his heart while destroying the earth, and his fellow men, with his hands.” (Wendell Berry, A Continuous Harmony: Essays Cultural and Agricultural)

Israel and the lamb

Daja (and her writing partner Kristina) wrote an ebook many years ago called Feed My People, Ecology and the Food Movement For Christians. (You can read it here: Feed My People.  In it, they write, “We propose that to truly fulfill the command to love our neighbors, we must be concerned with the land on which they live, the air of which they breathe, the food that sustains them and gives them health, and the earth that provides this all.  Craig Goodwin writes, ‘We have a special commission as God’s people to care and advocate for the poor and…we can’t advocate for the poor in places like Haiti without addressing deforestation and sustainable agricultural practices. We can’t love our neighbors without also caring for the creation that sustains our neighbors with work and food and health. Loving our neighbor is an environmental act.'”

Can food be an act of justice? Can it be theological at its core? Does it matter where our food comes from? How it was raised? Who profits from its purchase or it’s growth and where the waste goes?

New life

We believe that all this (and more) matters exceedingly.

“Owing to this industrialized global food production system, over the last 100 years, 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been lost and 30 percent of livestock breeds are at risk of extinction. 75 percent of the world’s food comes from 12 plants and only 5 animal species, making our global food supply highly vulnerable to disease and famine.”  (Shannon Hayes, Radical Homemakers) While this affects all of us, it particularly affects the poor who may not be able to afford or have access to organic food sources. In addition, it is the laboring class who has the greatest exposure to harmful substances and practices in the production of our food. If one of our major crops fail, it will affect all of us, but especially those already living on  the brink of destitution. [source]

This is not a call to militance. It’s a call to compassion. It’s not about legalism; it’s about awareness. None of us are perfect–certainly not the Gombojav family. We make plenty of mistakes in our food choices and farming. We are still learning!  We are learning to eat from a place of gratitude and make our choices from a place of integrity. It’s a journey. (A delicious journey!!!)

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31

Introducing Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet
Introducing Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet

Here are some practical things you can do in your own journey to eat and drink for the glory of God:

  1. Take a fast food free challenge. Just thirty days? Can you do it? We have some resources for you here.
  2. Join a farm share or CSA program. We have one, but if you are not local, find one near you and sign-up! You’ll be supporting a local small-scale farm and farmer. You’ll be connected with your food choices in a new way. (and you’ll save money. Did we mention that before?)
  3. If given a choice between a big supermarket or a farmstand or farmer’s market, choose the farmstand or farmers market! It’s a small way to vote with your fork.
  4. Plant a garden. Even if it’s a couple plants in the kitchen window, it makes a difference! A small raised bed is a great place to start. (You can do this! Here’s how: Three Easy Steps To Raised Beds)
  5. Eat more vegetables. No really. This is an important step! Less stuff out a boxes and cans. More stuff that may still have a hint of dirt on them. This can be delicious! We have a growing recipe file here on this site. PLUS, Daja has a cookbook: All Things Veg! Let’s get cookin’!

Want to learn more about how we are working this poly-culture farm? Drop us an email or give us a call! or 207-458-3854.

all for love


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