Liz Muir is Tearfund’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion.
‘And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.’ Luke 22: 29-30a
Growing up, one of the things I looked forward to the most about Christmas was the food I knew we were going to eat. It was the day I was guaranteed to have all the things I loved to eat all in one day! Our Caribbean heritage meant that Christmas day dinner was a fusion of cultural culinary delights – aspects of traditional British Christmas food mixed with quintessential Jamaican dishes such as ackee and saltfish (the national dish of Jamaica), fried dumplings and rice and peas. But there was no way I was satisfied until my plate also had a large dollop of stuffing and it was all swimming in gravy!
There are many times in the Bible when Jesus eats with people from different backgrounds where there was sure to be a blend of food and culture. These encounters led to some of the most transformative stories we read today. The model of the inclusive dining experience is not to be neglected, for it has the power to move us towards experiencing the diversity of the kingdom of God that we have access to through the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross. And of this kingdom there shall be no end.