Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ethnic Food

Kimchi, Falafel, Albondigas, Pepperkakor, Bizcochitos, Fattoush, Kima, Hummus, and Capanata.

These are just a few of the dishes I've made this year. We love ethnic food around here and one of our favorite things to do is to make a meal from different countries from beginning to end.

I think my cooking reflects my love of other cultures and people. For as long as I can remember I've wanted to travel the world. I've wanted to spend some time in another country. When I was in high school I thought the Lord was calling me onto the mission field. I ended up going to college and then onto seminary with that purpose in mind.

However, God had other plans for me. He is good though and He brought the other cultures to me. Dan & I served for ten years in an inner city ministry in New Jersey. This city was small, only 8 square miles, but there were 150,000 people in that city and we met people from every country imaginable.

I was the director of an adult literacy program and an English as a Second Language program and had students from Bangladesh, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Africa, and other countries.

Just as I can't imagine eating only American food, I can't imagine only wanting to stick to my "own kind." Unfortunately, there are so many people who think that way. And even sadder to me is when this thinking creeps into the church. It happens more than you think. Terms like "those blacks" or "those Mexicans" or "this town isn't the same since all the Spanish moved in." It honestly makes me feel sad when I hear that.

One of my favorite verses is found in Revelation and it's a picture of the nations worshiping in heaven.

Revelation 7:9-10 ~

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

"Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

God is a God of diversity. He created all people from every color and culture. He loves them all equally. One day we will stand before the Lord and have to answer for every careless word. Let's be a people who embrace those who are different than us and not cut them down.

I'm pretty sure God likes ethnic food too! ;-)