Summer is well and truly here, and even though Easter is now a distant memory in our collective Christian consciousness, I can’t help but think of Jesus’ last supper. Passover is a special time for many faiths. The eating of Christ’s body and drinking of his blood with the people you love and care for is replicated in any meal. Its essentially why we say a prayer before any meal; we give thanks to Our Lord for giving us the chance to eat such wonders with the people that are most precious to us. His passing gave us the chance to do such things, so it only follows that when BBQ season hits us in the summer time, I get to thinking about grilling in a theological light.
Conceptually, they are confusing. Take the image of a group of people gathered around a metal structure, ritualistically charring meat for eating and the act almost sounds pagan. At the very least, thoughts of Satanism are conjured and that’s almost enough to put one off their dinner entirely. In reality though, the tradition is one of community and sharing, more akin with our ancestors way of eating than any dark art. There are still negative connotations that the British, especially, associate with BBQs. The under cooking of pork products is something particularly feared, almost to the level of the Hasidic. As a result, sausages are often burnt beyond any recognition, leaving no doubt in any of the consumers’ mind that they will be saved from the horrors of food poisoning.
The preparation of meat is something that should always be handled with the utmost care and attention. For most people, separating cooked from uncooked, preparing before use by date and keeping meat refrigerated is enough. But often, one of the most important factors overlooked is the cleanliness of the BBQ or oven. Something we never to think to clean, unless we’re moving house, the oven can often to be the source of great illness. After mulling this over, I recently ordered in a professional to clean both my BBQ outside as well as the interior and exterior of my home oven. For someone who often breaks bread with friends and family in his own home, I knew that no prayer or grace could save my guests fro food poisoning, if the grill was dirty.
Although, in Jesus’ time, they did not have knowledge of such things as bacteria or salmonella. I’m sure they knew that cooking in filth would not be good for the health. As the saying goes: ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’. So don’t let your BBQ or oven be your Judas this summer. Keep your disciples healthy and get your oven cleaned professionally, so that your next BBQ won’t be your Last Supper!