Sunday, June 03, 2012

Traditional Foods on the Holidays -- What If ...

Despite the odd title, this post is going somewhere. It actually launches a short series, but comes at it from the angle of our recent celebrations of Jesus' resurrection.

Every holiday has its traditional food -- though different families may have different traditions. I grew up eating turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and leg of lamb for Easter. The lamb was the only one with a particular religious significance: it reminded us of the ultimate Passover that Jesus accomplished, where the angel of death's work is undone by resurrection -- first for Jesus, then ultimately for us also.

But it seems that for Easter dinner, the tradition might have been broiled fish. On the occasions after Jesus' resurrection when he eats with his disciples, whenever someone made note of the meat, the meat was broiled fish. The very first day when he rose from the dead, when he met his disciples for dinner, he ate broiled fish (Luke 24:42). When he met them by the sea, again he ate broiled fish with them (John 21:9-13). So broiled fish might also do well for a celebration of the resurrection, as a show of faith in the reality of the risen Lord, who was so thoroughly alive (not a mere vision) that he ate with his disciples after rising from the dead.

Though fish does have more significance than the resurrection -- as if more were needed. It's interesting that, during Lent, many Roman Catholics still eat only fish on Friday. That's another inheritance from Judaism, where fish counts differently than other meats for purposes of fasting or dietary regulations. (It's why the bagels with the cream cheese have smoked salmon on them, not roast beef, on a kosher table.)

At any rate, about the fish at Jesus' resurrection dinner: hold that thought.

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

That's an interesting suggestion. Thanks!