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.)

#2. 
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] 

#3. 
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]

#4. 
Gluttony is Exceeding the necessary quantity of food. 
Biblical example: One of the sins of Sodom was "fullness of bread."[Eze 16:49] 

#5. 
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.