Marking and Measuring Time : in grace and gratitude

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This summer I attended a course at college called The Meaning of the Sacraments – which I really enjoyed. Mostly we talked about what baptism and communion mean – the two common sacraments the church celebrates all over the world. However, one of the texts we read was For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann – who is an orthodox priest. His theology has a whole-of-the-cosmos-focus and he works hard to challenge the modern separation of the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular’ realms of human life. After reading his chapter ‘The Time of Mission’, I felt invited to conduct my own reflections on the sacramental nature of time.

What followed was my major paper*. I followed the line that rather than seeing time as a wearisome burden, perhaps we are invited to understand the times and seasons given to us by God as gift. If so, perhaps there are ways we can ‘mark’ time regularly and cyclically – using repeated rhythms and rituals as well as moments of special attention and celebration.

These photos are of homemade lavender cake – a late birthday gift for a lovely (and patient!) friend. I know I have written about cake so many times but I after researching my paper a few years ago they seem so important as a way of marking a special day with special food. We put the best of our ingredients together to make something beyond basic fare because the people we have been given to walk with are gifts to us, we want to mark their milestones, to party with them, to be thankful for them.

Writing this paper was such a gift to me – I had always had a hunch that there was more to birthdays than what met the eye – the cake, the presents, the balloons – these matter because they are a way of delighting in God’s gifts to us – in particular, the person we love and are celebrating.

If you too would like a theological reason for partying – or if you have always felt called by the mountains on your horizon to look to God for help – this paper may also interest you.

*A pdf of my paper is below:
tomarknotmeasuretimeasagiftofgrace

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Mist and Mountain Views

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“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

The Blue Mountains, the Moresby Ranges and now the Coast Mountains in Vancouver – each of my homes has had a ‘mountain’ view. As the pattern began to reoccur I remembered these verses from Psalm 121, and I often think of them now as I look out the window, sitting at my desk in the lounge room, still in awe of the privilege of being so close to Canada’s snow covered majesties.

But the thing about Vancouver in winter is, sometimes you can’t see the mountains. The rain clouds or fog descends, and when you look up the view has gone. There have been times in this season when that seems to ring true both climatically and emotionally. Sometimes when we look up to the hills, needing their strength, needing them to direct our gaze to the God who made heaven and earth – all we see is a fog, clouds blocking the horizon. Indefinite, transient, they softly (but firmly) block the view, taking with it our perspective and wonder.

In that moment it is hard to remember that which is beyond our vision – it is hard to have “assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Behind what we can see, beyond the limits of our vision, there are still mountains. On these cloudy days it takes faith just to believe in them, let alone believe we can move them … but they are there. Solid, foundational, just like the One who promises that we can look to them and seek His help. We turn and wrestle to remember His past faithfulnesses.

And then, one day, the cloud lifts. The sun (Son?) shines and we are again overwhelmed with their glory, reminded of their testimony, given renewed hope. Sometimes we can even carve out time for mountain top experiences. We leave town, take a day and immerse ourselves in their heights and glories. We are restored to the truth of the mountains, their beauty helps to make us whole again as they witness to the One who makes both them and us. Although they outstrip our tiny frames completely – they enlargen us, telling the bigness of a God who makes wide, spacious places and calls us to into them, to dwell, to rest.

It seems that this is the season for lifting my eyes and trying to live in the spacious places. A season for wondering at the view.

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Photo credit: Asher Graieg-Morrison

Ambivalent Consumer

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Sometimes I feel it when I am talking with a sensitive friend, sometimes when I am having a fragile moment myself. The uneasy recognition that each one of us, as complex physical, emotional and spiritual beings, exists in time and space. That by nature of our existence we use up time (as well as other resources) and take up space. In one of my favourite musicals, Sussical, the Who’s from Whoville sing out “We are here, we are here, we are here” to let the creatures in the large world know that they are real. For some of us the tension between this necessary cry of existence and deep reticence in acknowledging our very stuff-ness (and therefore stuff-dependance) can begin to break us.

There is a reconciliation I find myself fighting for on several fronts.

In moments of fear and mis-placed disgust, I long to be smaller, to take up less space, to find more room in my clothes. In corresponding moments of dogged self-talk I begin my schpeil; my body houses my bones, muscles and organs – growth and maintenance is heavily dependant on my genetic code. Isolated, no particular section of me is wildly photogenic or smooth or blemish free. But together, I am a human being, a creature, a body-and-soul matrix with real biological systems that process real organic molecules, animated by solar energy and the very breath of God. Discussions about fasting aside, regular food is necessary for my ongoing survival. Fats, carbohydrates and proteins – all necessary to keep me enlivened, alive. Sometimes I do wish that the whole could be smaller, that there was less of me, that I took up less room. I know that there is much that could be said on the topic. But, in truth, I do not want to be a small person or live a small life. All that remains is to live out of the body I’ve been given; thankful and ready to use it for joy.

Not only do I take up space myself (more than I would like when pressed for the uncomfortable truth), but my stuff does too. My very physicality (yours too) demands food (fairly regularly, ask my husband just how civilised I can be prior to dinner), water, air, clothes, some place safe to rest in, to live in, tools to do my work, toys to share in play. The list goes on. For most of us, where these things can be enhanced with beauty, they seem to answer our needs even more truly. The somewhat obvious and, at times disconcerting reality, is that providing for these very real and tangible cries requires considerable time and money.

In a weak moment we despair at the grocery bill, regret the rent, mourn the price of a new skirt – no matter how thoughtfully the shopping list was put together, how economically our decisions about where to live were made or how careful the purchase of an attractive, up-cycled charity-shop outfit for work was. In this frame of mind, justifying the occasional ‘this-is-beautiful-and-I-really-love-it-purchase’ can be even more difficult. Add to these daily reminders of your reliance on stuff, physical things, the double ups that come from moving to a new place – having left old things behind because moving ‘stuff’ costs. Packing stuff in and out of moving boxes and suitcases has become a recent but reoccurring theme of my life. While previously my stable geography meant that my collection of stuff moved only small distances and made itself less known, now no longer.  As the distances became longer and the cost higher, moving stuff became a more difficult issue for me. Deciding what to take and what to leave when moving away is difficult enough without adding the now-near-existential-regret-come-fear of mine – if I leave it behind I’ll need to buy a new one when I get there!

This summer ‘stuff’ weighed me down; an overseas move, study of Creation care and environmental brokeness followed with further international travel meant (a lot of) real luggage toting. It also meant grappling with my unwieldy emotional baggage. I do not in anyway find myself facing Fall all the ends tied up neat and tidy, but I have had to try and lay the issue down for a spell. It was getting too heavy for me.

We took this course together, Asher and I, in the summer. A course about ‘stuff’. Natural ‘stuff’ and human-made ‘stuff’. Creation in its outstanding diversity and the complex labyrinth of human production, technology and objects. We wondered how to negotiate the two realms, we read scripture and other wise writers. We worried about human failings in ecology. We rowed boats and explored marine environments. We sang and prayed together. We shared bread and wine and remembered the One who’s body was broken because of our destruction. And I think that is where the answers begin.

Our God made and loves this physical world. He made the ‘stuff’! The epitome of a good designer, He made the world both useful and beautiful. He made us as part of His creation to love and appreciate it, to use and work within it, and, as Schmeman would say, to offer it back to Him in praise and worship. God is not only just okay with a real, physical creation, He wanted it that way. He even sent His Son to become part of it. Incredible. God made flesh, bone, body. He knows what it feels to live in skin. His death and (bodily) resurrection answers so many questions, articulated and otherwise, but for my purposes here today, it at least says that our messy, uncomfortable, physical lives, our stuff, our home planet, all matter to Him deeply. He took on the great joy and incredible brokenness of life under the sun – and then some – because He loves His creation. His double affirmation of the ‘stuff’ of this world comes in the way He asks us to remember why He came, bread and wine are to be our mnemonics. We remember God dwelling among us as we eat a meal, a meal that speaks of sacrifice, life given for life and welcome.  Grapes, yeast, wheat, water. The very ‘stuff of life’ tells us the story of heaven meeting earth and welcoming her home, over and over, as often as we drink it.

This is not a full discussion of the spiritual importance of ‘stuff’, but for me, weary from the compromise of trying to do right within a broken system, arms heavy from carrying my ‘stuff’, I’m glad to sit down at the table. Eyes forced to the Head, praise and thankfulness the only right response to the Giver of all good gifts. Will you sit by me?

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:4-8

Schmemann, Alexander. For the Life of the World. New York: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1963.

Waiting, Walking, Working Revisited

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Hmmm. My last post was not my most articulate ever. That is okay. There is a lot of newness here. New places, faces and ideas. Hear this though; I love new things (at home I was dubbed the ‘Novelty Queen’ by my mum). They are interesting and engaging, stretching you in all sorts of ways and presenting lots of possibilities. However, there does come a point when the layers of newness begin to accumulate, weighing me down, wearing the edges. Finding new places to buy toilet paper, ‘happy’ meat and gluten flour, joining new banks, phone companies and theological colleges will do that.

We began this week, having spent last week ‘orienting’ ourselves well. Greek, Hebrew, New Testament and Christian Thought and Culture (when I know, I’ll tell you!). More new. More ideas. More Bible. More creative, justice-seeking ways to live it out. More people to share it with. All while the creation-care-come-environmental echoes of the Boat course grow steadily stronger in my mind and the Syrian tragedy bewilders my breaking heart. The accumulated cacophony means I am wondering again about working. And walking. And waiting.

This is a season of ‘knowing’ for me, there is a marked change of landscape to attend to, but, regardless, but there are still lots of books here. Where the focus once was honeybees and sustainability, waste and want, celebration and cake, now N. T. Wright and other New Testament Scholars join me in (trying) to speak Greek at the table. The boat course taught me that knowledge is important. Without genuine knowledge, we live in the dark, unenlightened, wisdom eluding us. Without knowledge, there can be no love or care. But on the other hand we have the 1 Corinthians 8:1 reminder that knowledge for knowledge’s sake ‘puffs up’, it is love that builds up. I want to be with the first group. I want to know more so I can love more. Knowledge of another (or even just other), can humble, can bring godly wisdom. This vision seems important to grasp now.

I have always been an ‘applied’ kind of girl, loving working with my hands, loving ‘doing’ things. As a Technology teacher, I worked in the TAS department, the Technology and Applied Sciences department. Someone said at orientation this week that all Theology is Applied Theology – I love that, but I know that I am going to have to, Jacob-style, wrestle with it before I can settle down, at peace with it (for now, for this season). On one hand I am delighted that God wants my ‘knowing’ to be applied, that He is interested in my everyday-walking-around-life. I love ‘stuff’ (especially food, fibre, fabric, flower type ’stuff’), I love ‘doing’ and making things. I am so glad He is keen on His physical world and for me to live physically in it with all the rest of actual-physical creation. I am so glad He is interested in my walking and my working. But the question rings out again; ‘how shall we now then live?’. The process of wrestling (maybe I should add it to my other three ‘w’ words!), of ‘working out our salvation with fear and trembling’ (Philippians 2:12) so that we know the ‘good work He has planned for us to walk in’ (Ephesians 2:10) seems to torment me at times! But perhaps the clue is in the fact that I jumped books in that sentence. The end of Philippians 2:12 does not have us working, Ephesian style. It actually has God working; ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling [Paul says] … for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure’. Waiting on Him, being still, knowing and (far more importantly) being known by Him comes to the forefront again. He’s going to work in me, in you, for His good pleasure.

Do I work? Does God? Yes and yes. The tension will remain. Everyday I will get up in this eco-physical-spiritual world and I will try and apply my theology. I will try and walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8), rather than running ahead, full of anxious energy. I will try and wait, to live in the season that is happening, aware of my dependence on Him (and the rest of His good, but, in places, very tired creation) held daily before my eyes, thankful not resentful. I will try to do the rather-clear-and-non-negotiable good works He sets before me (instead of getting stressed about which ones are mine to do specially). I will try to love, ‘because He first loved me’ (1 John 4:10), sending His Son to save and show me. I will try and care for the ‘orphans and the widows’ (James 1:27). I will try to a live a quiet [but not a small] life, and ‘work with my hands’ (1 Thessalonians 4:11). I’ll study, I’ll do food shopping. I’ll make dinner and share it. Some days I will reach out and others, bunker down, trying to learn apt stillness. Maybe I’ll even make something beautiful every now and then, a bit like Him. Mostly I want to learn to do it with joy and gratitude* because its gift, and offered back to the Giver, it seems right worship. More about Him, less about me. I am a slow learner. Maybe that is why I am still studying.

The garden continues to grow. He tends the tiny seedlings, patiently watering and pruning as needs arise. Progress is slow but steady.

* (not fear, because fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:18), and there is now no condemnation (Romans 8:1))

Waiting, Walking, Working

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There is a logic to Psalm 33 that I enjoyed reflecting on a few months ago and sharing with my mum. She said some lovely encouraging things and, perhaps my head got big, but I thought I would share a little of what I was thinking then and what I am thinking now. Somehow sharing something often makes me try and articulate it better for myself anyway. So that’s my excuse. The psalmist begins, insistent that we should sing to the Lord because His word is right and true, and because He is a powerful creator. Because His word is right and true and He is a powerful creator, we are right to fear and revere Him. Because He is a powerful creator He has control over the nations, and over history. Because He has control over history, the nation whose God is the Lord is blessed. If we are blessed to have the ever-loving, ever faithful God of justice and righteousness as our God, then it is right that we wait for Him. As we wait, we are called to sing joyfully to the Lord, and as we sing, we both seek and receive His unfailing love.

It seems so sensible doesn’t it?! But sometimes we don’t feel it. Sometimes I don’t feel it. These deep truths about who God is and just how good it is to be counted among His people are transformative, if, and only if, we still ourselves and give them a chance to soak down into the soil of our lives, to whet us on the inside. Asher and I are waiting at the moment. Waiting for work, waiting for the garden to grow, waiting to start study, waiting to settle. Waiting is not always particularly comfortable. I have never been very good at sitting still, but elsewhere in the Psalms comes the call to “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exulted among the nations, I will be exulted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).

I am beginning to think that perhaps, “Be still …” might just be the flavour of my month, or year. Or perhaps even life! Asher and I just did a summer school course at Regent Bible College called Technology, Wilderness and Creation. It is an immersion course that involves living with your fellow students and lecturers, with whom you go on a rowing and camping expedition, all the while exploring the issues of Christians and Creation. We asked questions like, what does it mean for us to be God’s image bearers looking after and caring for His creation? What does it mean for us to have a good relationship with creation, even ‘wilderness’ areas? Does God meet us in the wilderness (like He did Hagar)? Is creation care important to Him and our Christian calling? How are we as a human race going with that? Does creation care offer a regenerative connection to the land? How can technology be used in a way that encourages human flourishing and does not diminish it? As we talked, the idea of knowing came up regularly. There seemed to be a sense that knowing who God is rightly (His creative power, His wide ranging and intimate knowledge of all of His creation (see Job 38-42 as an example!) is key to knowing who we are and what we were made to do. Psalm 8 begins to catch the sweep of it: He’s big and majestic and cosmically able – we are far smaller but called to greatness under Him. Called to care for His creation. In his book For the Beauty of the Earth, Steven Boumer-Prediger says that to care about something, you have to love it, to love it, you have to know it and to know it you must first experience it. Paying attention to God’s creation, from the minnows, to the minerals, to the mountains, helps us to know it, love it and to care for it.

Back when I first read the Psalm and started thinking about it I was struck by the way that our ‘waiting’ on the Lord somehow needed also to encompass the ideas of working and walking. Ultimately we are waiting (with creation, none the less) “for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23). For the day when “all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of His death, His blood that poured down from the cross” (Colossians 1:20 MSG). But as we wait we are called to walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV) in His ways (held mercifully by His grace), working for Him (Ephesians 2:10) (in our small ways towards His final and complete redemption).

Sometimes the waiting overwhelms us, I find myself railing against the stillness I am called to,  just wanting to do something. Sometimes the work overwhelms us, we look at the world and its needs and feel so infinitesimally small that to do anything seems to be as doing nothing.
Sometimes the walking overwhelms us, the path is unclear, our feet are heavy and God’s hand seems to be slipping from ours (in my case, this is probably because I am pulling away, getting frustrated with His leading!).

It can be agony waiting on the Lord, but at the same time the Boat course was a reminder that the work that needs doing in our world is so huge, so all encompassing, that we long to cry out “Come Lord Jesus, come” (Revelation 22:20). However, that in a sense is the only right thing to do because, ultimately, it is He who has done and will do the work. He alone is powerful and capable, able to untangle wrong, bring Life, breathe Spirit with His words. We can only ever make baby steps in the right direction, lead by Him. We are like Isaiah, after experiencing Who God is, presents himself to God saying ’send me!’ … but we’ve got to get the order right; Isaiah knew who God was and who he was, and after his ‘unclean lips’ had been atoned for, could ‘go’ for God.

When, by His goodness and enabling, we begin to try and balance the waiting, working and walking, holding lightly to our own strength and ideas and leaning more heavily on His shoulder, that is perhaps the beginning of what life should be. We can and must do each because of Who He is. Each, in a sense is too much for us, bringing us to the edge of ourselves and our capacity, showing us again who He is, that He is beyond us and before us. We must do each and yet we can’t do them well enough to save ourselves or the world.

Thank God that He steps in where we aren’t able. Every time.

Do you have the wisdom to count the clouds (Job 38:37)? He does. So we will sing.

Collaboration

Cassette Dissasembled

One of the surprising things that has emerged from our ‘season of transition’ these last few months is an album! Inspired (but also daunted) by the 100 days of creativity movement, my husband decided to set himself the challenge of producing a song a week for all of Term 2. Ten songs in ten weeks resulted in an album, ’Ten’, which he is selling online at Bandcamp as a digital download and a cassette tape! With skills and interests elsewhere, it was a great delight for me to be able to help, not with the music side of things, but with the lyrics for a few of the songs.

I was really happy with the way this one turned out. The piece reminded me of a lullaby and I liked the idea of trying to write lyrics to match. I had also been listening to Eugene Petterson speak on prayer – particularly about how the church used to use Mary and Zechariah’s ‘song’s’ in daily prayers. As we wrote our lullaby, infused with truths from Zechariah’s song, we realised that what we were singing was true not just for Zechariah. Isaac, John and Jesus were all born as answers to prayers, as promises kept. Thorough the ages our hope has always been in God, coming through for His people, bringing light in the darkness. Today we walk in Abraham’s footsteps, following a God whose mercy and love guide our feet and call us to Him. Hope you enjoy it as much as we loved writing and playing it!

Abraham’s Child

Night falls fast
Eyelids droop
Heart beats slow
Day draws closed
Moon on high, haloed
Shadows on the door
Dark all around me

Stars shine through
We watch on
Count each one
All from You
Faithful to this house
We watch for Your dawn
The Son from on high to come

You my child
Are one of his
Our answered prayer
Now walk for Him
May His tenderness
Mercy and love
Guide our feet in peace

In the dark
A light shines forth
Our hope came in the morning

A promise kept
A babe is born
Our hope comes in the morning

Vegan Christianity?

As I mentioned a few posts ago I have just finished the coursework involved in my Masters of Arts (Food Studies) course. The final essay I worked on involved retelling the history of a particular ‘food movement’, my lecturer suggested veganism. I am so glad she did – studying the growing interest in vegetarianism (focusing on a completely plant-based version) was very stimulating. Although the motivations behind choosing a vegetarian, or indeed vegan, diet often overlap, merging into one larger compulsion – the ideological positions that motivate the move are quite distinct. It was also interesting to note just how early our conversations around eschewing of meat products began – with Pythagoras in the sixth century BC! Porphyry (234-305 AD) is the first to suggest that perhaps meat isn’t enough; that use of milk, wool and honey by humans as also unjust. He did however, decide later that this more extreme position was not necessary. The earliest follower of a vegan diet seems to be Dr William Lambe (so many commentators enjoy that irony!) – although his completely plant-based diet was motivated by health alone. It was not until one of his patients, also following the diet, John Frank Newton, wrote Return to Nature that Lambe’s medical motivations were expanded to include ethical concerns; such as environmental benefits and alleviation of animal suffering. Percy Shelley (the famous English poet) later built on Newton’s work, drawing attention to humanitarian concerns for the human poor (hungry because grain was fed to ‘food animals’ for the wealthy, at their expense). I found it fascinating how similar early motivations for following a plant-based diet were to modern arguments for a similar lifestyle. Religion provides another powerfully motivating reason to follow a vegetable diet – Ancient Hindus, Buddhists and Jains all concerned with ahimsa (non-harm) and the purity it achieves for its followers. Western religions seem more motivated by the purity achieved by a life of acetistism and abstinence.

Most of the vegetarian/vegan discourse seems to occur between England and America – with perhaps a slightly higher focus on the connection between spiritual and physical health occurring in American circles. The influence of Sylvester Graham (think ‘crackers’) and John Kellogg continues in our shopping isles today. Both were heavily involved in church communities and made significant contributions to the development of modern-day nutrition. On the other hand – the history of vegetable diets also introduces us to people like Amos Bronson Alcott and Francis Newman (an Englishman in this case) who appeared to hold a Christian faith, as well as deep social concern for things like the abolition of slavery, equal rights for women and animal rights.

By no means do I want to deny any connection between spiritual and physical health; however, I found other aspects of vegan ideology more compelling. We are placed at an interesting time in the West, food choice is abundant, overwhelming and unguided. Unlike France, we are no longer led by a specific, prevailing food culture. We do not have a specified system of eating that provides the scaffold for our shopping, preparation and consumption. We are adrift in a sea of cafes, processed food, fast food outlets, petrol stations full of junk food, Coles and Woolworth stores, BBQs, gourmet farmers markets, kids parties, gourmet delis etc. and have no guiding compass. Veganism, while extreme, offers an elegant solution to our increasing concern for the atrocities of factory farming (for meat, milk and eggs), environmental sustainability (less animals for food requires less energy and less land), the hungry (1 in 9 across the planet) and eating healthily (less education and more information has led to increasing ambivalence on this issue). It is not hard to understand the modern attraction to plant-based diets.

As a Christian, I am very sympathetic. My lived life, enacted choices should demonstrate my concerns and values. I believe that as it’s Creator, God cares about the world; about its environments, its animals and its people. I do believe that God has a special relationship with people, His image bearers, and that this relationship calls us to care for His world, the environments, animals and other people, as He would. To steward well the world given to us as a gift. Perhaps less discussed is the principle of life-given-for-another God seems to have embedded deeply into the nature of His creation. Both physically (we need food and water to live) and spiritually (we needed Jesus to offer His life for ours) we are dependant on something or someone dying so that we can have life. As Christians we are then called to offer our own lives – our energy, time and love – back to God and for the good of others. We are called to ‘eat and be eaten’ as C. S. Lewis says. The physical and spiritual reality forces us to comprehend the interdependant complexity of life. Passover demands we watch the lamb killed, the blood splashed on the door frame, the meat shared, the people saved. John tells us that Jesus is that Lamb, slain for the sins of the world.

Does that mean that as Christians we have to eat meat? Like the Swedenborgian Bible Christian Church in vegetarian history who insisted on ovo-lacto vegetarianism because the Promise Land was ‘flowing with milk and honey’! I don’t think so. However, I do think that it gives us permission to consider (thoughtful) meat consumption appropriate within Christian practice. On the other hand we still must face the call to consume in line with our call to steward well. To treat the land, the animals and other people with dignity. In light of those concerns I outlined before; feeding the hungry, the cruel realities of factory farming and environmental sustainability in the face of devastating land degradation, I can understand why some Christians choose a vegetarian or even vegan diet. Our human systems developed to nourish, clothe and equip bear the signs of deep brokenness. The very clothes we wear and food we eat implicate us as part of the problem.

While far from having answers to this extensive systemic challenge, I was delighted to engage with an example of embodied expression of belief as I wrote this essay. I want to keep walking here, in the middle of the mess, despite my desire for neat solutions. I imagine that for my family, this will, at the very least, involve quantitatively less meat, and the need to seek out more ‘thoughtfully’ raised animal products. I hope that it also means many more conversations about how to live a life that demonstrates my deep concerns and cares.

Bibliography

Abrams, Jr., H. Leon. 2000. “Vegetarianism: another view”. In The Cambridge World History of Food, edited by Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas, 1564-1574. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Berndsen, Mariëtte & van der Pligt, Joop. 2005. “Risks of meat: the relative impact of cognitive, affective and moral concerns”. Appetite, 44: 195–205.

Sneijder, Petra & te Molder, Hedwig. 2009. “Normalizing ideological food choice and eating practices. Identity work in online veganism”. Appetite, 52: 621-630.

Davis, John. 2010. World Veganism – past, present and future. International Vegetarian Union website: Online. Accessed June 17, 2015.

http://www.ivu.org/history/Vegan_History.pdf

Deppe, Michele. 2012. “Clean Eating: getting more of what you need”. Vibrant Life, 28:34-37.

Dywer, J. 2005. “Vegetarian Diets”. In The Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition, edited by Benjamin Caballero, 323-328. Elsevier: Online.

Fox, Nick & Ward, Katie J. 2008. “You are what you eat? Vegetarianism, health and identity”. Social Science & Medicine, 66: 2585-2595.

Gregory, James. 2007. “Physical Puritanism and Medical Orthodoxy”. In Of Victorians and Vegetarians: The vegetarian movement in nineteenth-century Britain, by James Gregory, 69-97. Tauris Academic Studies: London.

Grumett, David & Muers Rachel, eds. 2008. Eating and Believing Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Vegetarianism and Theology. Continuum International Publishing: London.

Grumett, David, and Rachel Muers. 2010. Theology on the Menu: Asceticism, meat and Christian diet. Oxfordshire: Routledge.

Heynen, Nik. 2010. “Cooking up Non-violent Civil-disobedient Direct Action for the Hungry: ‘Food Not Bombs’ and the Resurgence of Radical Democracy in the US”. Urban Studies, 47: 1225-1240.

Hoogland, Carolien T., de Boer, Joop & Boersema, Jan J. 2005. “Transparency of the meat chain in the light of food culture and history”. Appetite, 45: 15-23.

Larsson, Christel L., Rönnlund, Ulla., Johansson, Gunnar & Dahlgren, Lars. 2003. “Veganism as status passage
The process of becoming a vegan among youths in Sweden”. Appetite, 41:61-67.

National Health and Medical research council (NHMRC). 2013. Educator Guide. Canberra: National Health and Medical research council.

Preece, Rod. 2008. Sins of the Flesh: A history of vegetarian thought. Vancouver: UBC Press.

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