Catherine Diane King
“Attend to Me and eat what is good;
enjoy the richest, most delectable of things.” – Isaiah 55:2b (The Voice)
This was the first Thanksgiving our daughter was away from home. She’s a conservation biologist working with sea turtles in Costa Rica. This year, her team of eight, her “family” in Costa Rica made their own tradition and cooked a thanksgiving dinner together. Each took a part of the meal and using local foods, incorporated family traditions with a Costa Rican twist: chicken, empanadas, pineapple stuffing, beans, peppers, potatoes and banana pie.
She sent us photos of the table and the joy on every face. And it was good! It was tov.
We first meet this Hebrew word tov in Genesis. At the end of each day’s work, with each new part of creation, God said good! Light, water, vegetation, sea creatures, birds, animals, humans – all tov –all endowed with purpose, sufficient, sustainable, just, complete, beautiful… whole.
Isaiah calls us to return to an ethic of tov: committing ourselves and our decisions to what is useful, beneficial and supportable for common well being… mindful of the impact of our choices on the whole… incorporating what everyone brings to the table… humans partnering with nature.
Our daughter’s team ate a delicious meal, and even more importantly, they are attending to the goodness of the earth as God created it to be.
Loving God of all that is good and right and true, this Advent season, may we consider what it means for each of us to be stewards of tov, living simply, purposefully, relationally and hospitably that all may be well. Amen.
Rev. Cathi King is a pastor of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and serves First Presbyterian Church Tecumseh, Michigan.
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