Thursday, August 26, 2010

the ethics of living At home

My recent thinking about hospitality and mission, food and faith has also been finding itself shaped by Bill Bryson’s At Home: A Short History of Private Life. (I find Bryson both engaging and infuriating. He’s a great storyteller, but his books are so long!) At home is still a fascinating book. Having scoured the solar system in A Short History of Nearly Everything, At Home invites us into Bill’s home, the place where dwells in Norfolk, England. Each room gets a chapter, 19 in total, and only Bill Bryson could write chapters on a hall, a kitchen, a fusebox, a cellar, a passage, a garden, and so on. It’s packed full of fascinating information and the message:

“Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.”

Which links so superbly with hospitality as mission and the banquet meals in Luke 14. Faith becomes domestic. Christianity sits at table. It’s just profoundly challenging, yet profoundly empowering to realise that how we live, what we eat and who we eat with is Kingdom living, a world loving way of being. Or in the words of says Silvija Davidson, chair of Slow Food UK.

“The world food crisis is making people think differently about what’s on their plates,”

To be practical, like this sort of list from the slow food movement:
# Experiment with not wearing a watch
# Eat meals at a table
# Read a story to a loved-one or friend
# Take up a hobby
# Check your personal speedometer
# Leave gaps in your diary
# Walk more
# Sit still for 10 minutes a day
# Bake bread
# Run baths rather than showers
# Arrive 10 minutes early for meetings and appointments
# Read poetry
# Join a choir
# Learn a musical instrument
# Grow your own vegetables
# Be kind

Original spark for this was the Taste chapter in Sense Making Faith.

Posted by steve at 08:11 PM

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