Come Eat With Me… An excerpt

Posted: December 28, 2018 in Uncategorized

Following is an excerpt from one of the early chapters in my new book, Come Eat With Me. The book will be on shelves and online very soon. 

The Bible starts with a great picture of God preparing the table, placing the first people in a garden where everything is beautiful. but within a short time, they have come across a challenge. They are given a choice about eating some fruit from a single tree, and the suggestion that is put into their minds by the snake is that eating of the fruit will give them knowledge about the difference between good and evil.

Prior to that, everything was good and life was pretty simple. I think we’d all like that kind of life, and joining God’s community on earth would be pretty cozy if we didn’t have to worry about choices between good and evil. but the choice the first people made had immediate consequences, and it was their own family that suffered from their decision.

it’s interesting that the story about the sons of the first people involved a meal. Abel was a sheep farmer and was very proud of the way he cared for his flock and was able to develop exciting new methods of animal husbandry. His brother Cain was a farmer and he was equally proud of his ability to grow crops that would produce delicious food.

I can imagine the day Cain harvested one of his early crops, and successfully developed the process of baking a loaf of bread. He invited Abel to kill a sheep, and together, with all their families, gathered in great excitement to eat a meal together. What a time of celebration that would have been. But perhaps the happy families weren’t as happy as it seemed on the surface.

Cain, it would seem, was jealous of his brother. Perhaps it was because the family liked the roast lamb and found the bread a little dry without any butter and jam which, by the way, hadn’t yet been invented. Certainly, the decision of Cain’s parents to explore the idea of understanding good and evil was starting to work its way into Cain’s psyche.

In recognition of God and as an expression of thanks to him, Cain and Abel each brought a portion of their produce and made an offering to God. But there was a problem. We’re only into the fourth chapter of the bible and we’re told that God who has invited us to come and eat with him rejects Cain’s offering, and in a jealous rage, Cain kills his brother.

Why did God reject Cain’s offering? it wasn’t anything to do with the quality of his produce, but more to do with what was lurking in Cain’s heart. As we work our way through this book we will make an exciting discovery. The evil that was crouching at the door of Cain’s heart prompting him towards jealousy and then murder, was to follow humanity for the rest of time.

When Cain brought his gift of grain to God, it was not done in a spirit of thanksgiving and love, but, I would suggest, was a process of institutionalizing the act of worship. The act of bringing an offering wasn’t a genuine response from the heart, but the act of someone who was doing what they thought needed to be done.

Why did God reject Cain’s offering? Hold that question for a while, because the vast story of the Bible is all about the answer to that question. Over time we will discover in the stories about God’s invitation to eat with him, that the evil that lies deep within will continue to disrupt many potentially beautiful meals, but in the long run a solution is at hand.

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