Does the food on our table hold any significance beyond simple calories? In short, absolutely.
Our whole lives matter to God, but food should probably have a special place in our hearts. It is one of the first things given to humans in the Bible. It is one of the markers of the day (how often do you tell time via meals?). Our lives practically revolve around food, in some shape or form.
Our faith in Jesus should inform every decision we make, including our decisions about food. With that in mind:
Our food should not harm us: I'm guilty of scarfing down fast food and moving on quickly. But I shouldn't, and I'm trying to avoid burger joints as much as I can. We shouldn't abuse our bodies with grease and tons of sugar. We shouldn't hurry through meals just to move on to the next activity. Meals should be enjoyed with friends and family, and ideally shouldn't kill us.
Our food should not harm others: It is becoming more and more difficult to do this, but the food we buy shouldn't be so cheap that the person producing it can't make a living. It shouldn't destroy the environment with pesticides or have to be shipped from half-way around the world.
My family isn't perfect, but we're trying harder. We try to eat beef only once a week (half-price hamburgers at Sonic!). We're trying to eat together at the table, so we can share our day with each other.
The Bible can help: The Bible is full of all sorts of rules about food. We don't have to follow them, as they were prescribed for ancient Israelites, but they do have a common sense behind them. We should probably limit our intake of pork. Shrimp, catfish, and other bottom-feeders probably aren't the best for our health, either. We can use the dietary guidelines of the Old Testament to help us make good food choices.
Remember that food is a gift: We work for it, but our ability to work was given to us by God. There are others who have no way to work, whether because of physical handicapps or economic situations. We should be grateful for whatever finds its way onto our plates, whether it is steak or macaroni and cheese. With that in mind, we should also give to those who have a hard time obtaining the food that we need.
What about you? Do you think that God cares about our food?