Saturday, 25 January 2014

Gluttony ...

On Sunday I'm speaking at Godfirst in Cheltenham and will touch on gluttony. 

In my sermon prep I came across Pope Gregory 1 teaching on gluttony (600AD in the ascetic Middle Ages) ... I found it first amusing, then provocative:

#1 Gluttony is Eating before the time of meals in order to satisfy the palate. 
Biblical example: Jonathan eating a little honey, when his father Saul commanded no food to be taken before the evening.[1Sa 14:29] (Note that this text is only approximately illustrative, as in this account, Jonathan did not know he was eating too early.)

Gluttony is Seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the "vile sense of taste." 
Biblical example: When Israelites escaping from Egypt complained, "Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers and the melons, and the leeks and the onions and the garlic," God rained fowls for them to eat but punished them 500 years later.[Num 11:4] 

Gluttony is Seeking to stimulate the palate with sauces and seasonings. 
Biblical example: Two sons of Eli the high priest made the sacrificial meat to be cooked in one manner rather than another. They were met with death.[1Sa 4:11]

Gluttony is Exceeding the necessary quantity of food. 
Biblical example: One of the sins of Sodom was "fullness of bread."[Eze 16:49] 

Gluttony is Taking food with too much eagerness, even when eating the proper amount, and even if the food is not luxurious.
Biblical example: Esau selling his birthright for ordinary food of bread and pottage of lentils. His punishment was that the "profane person . . . who, for a morsel of meat sold his birthright," we learn that "he found no place for repentance, though he sought it carefully, with tears." [Gen 25:30]

1 comment:

Richard Walker said...

Tomato Ketchup is an abomination!! :-)

Just joking, but like you say - it is helpfully provocative. The pleasure of eating can definitely become idolatrous.