Spiritual Nourishment

Go, eat your bread with enjoyment and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has long ago approved what you do. -Ecclesiastes 9:7 

Dear members and friends,

Eating and drinking are the two most basic acts that we do for the preservation of our physical life. Without eating food and drinking water (liquid), our body would not survive very long. According to Swedenborg, the act of eating symbolizes the way we cultivate goodness, while the act of drinking symbolizes the way we cultivate truth. Just as our physical body requires material nutrients for its life, our spiritual body requires spiritual nutrients for its life. And, just as our physical body weakens or deforms when it lacks necessary nutrients, our spiritual body follows in the same way when we cultivate evil instead of goodness and falsity instead of truth. This is one reason why Jesus instituted the last supper as the symbol of his New Covenant with humanity, which is built upon the act of eating bread and drinking wine. 

The Bible takes the act of eating and drinking seriously. In the middle of the story of Adam and Eve is the act of eating the forbidden fruit. After the Fall, humanity continued to move away from God until everything was corrupt with violence and was thus wiped out by the flood in the story of Noah. Then, we read that Noah planted a vineyard and made wine and drank it. The drinking of wine by Noah causes a perpetual curse upon the blood line of Ham, who accidentally saw the nakedness of his drunken father. Interestingly, the act of eating and drinking was the cause of such tremendous tragedies in Genesis. According to Swedenborg, eating and drinking symbolize the process through which we appropriate something to be our own, and thus make it a permanent part of us. Consequently, eating the forbidden fruit symbolizes consciously choosing the self as the source of life instead of God, while drinking too much wine symbolizes voluntarily becoming intoxicated with one’s ego.

My brothers and sisters in God. Let us be reminded that we need to feed both our body and spirit whenever we are engaged in the act of eating and drinking.       

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee