‘They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts’ Acts 2:46
It’s a great pleasure to recommend to you a book which we have been keeping from you for the past year and a half!
Simply Eat: Everyday Stories of Friendship, Food and Faith (Instant Apostle, 2018) is a book about eating together; built around stories, testimonies and reflections about God’s power at work in kitchens and dining tables, church halls and street stalls.
Beautifully designed with pictures of feasting and food it’s a collaborative project by, among others, Interserve, London City Mission and South Asian Forum. Tucked in between the testimonies of faith are a series of delicious recipes from a rich host of cultures, each with a story behind it.
The book opens with a fascinating reflection on eating and fellowship by Rahil Patel who before becoming a follower of Jesus Christ was a Hindu priest for twenty years. He reflects on the fact that food ‘was significant to the way Jesus fellowshipped and lived’ (p.15), and yet as he confesses eating with others is ‘the aspect of daily life that I miss the most’ (p. 13). And here is the challenge Simply Eat gives to us. Food and fellowship go together and in this book we have all we need to get started!
The recipes include one for ‘Chicken Soup’ with Matzo Balls from Lynne Bradley. She shares the precious memories of gathering with her Jewish family around the table for the Seder meal at Passover. It was at this table that she ‘realised that Jesus was the true Passover Lamb’ (p. 19).
And later on in the book Katherine Blessan with Blessan K Babu (who share a delicious recipe for Moru (Buttermilk Curry) tell the story of how Waleed, an Afghani asylum seeker, joined them at a ‘Food and Story’ meal organised by their local church in Sheffield. During this meal he heard the story of Jesus’ calming the storm, and remembered them in the months ahead when he was ‘moved from one detention centre to another’. Like Lynne Bradley it was around a table that Waleed heard what would eventually bring ‘genuine heart transformation’ (p.43).
And it’s not just testimonies of meals around tables that fill the book. Valerie Landrum, a Brazilian-American living in England, makes a Hot Sauce (recipe included!) which helps her to explain how God is not merely interested in feeding us but also in flavour! What a rich testimony to God’s glory is it that food can be so delicious. And for Valerie it is a means to bless others and ‘it helps to start a conversation…which will always at some point include Jesus…(at) home. In our little English village, the sauce has helped build a number of relationships of trust with my neighbours. Even the postman is hooked on it!’ (p. 121).
There’s so much more in this book. Too much to mention. It’s rich in stories and in recipes to inspire us to invite and to eat together. I would heartily recommend it. I have only one problem with the book and that is that every recipe looks so delicious I don’t know where to start! Enjoy!
At the present time, the books are available for purchase below:
2:19 Resource and Materials Developer