Preparing a recent online grocery order, I found I was somewhat shocked by the huge range of items available from our supermarkets. The ordering process was efficient, with notice of unavailable items and swaps clearly given. Current technology certainly helps with day to day living.
My experiences of on-line shopping took me back to memories of my childhood.
My family lived in East Sussex, seven miles from the nearest town. There was one small village shop within walking distance (one mile away). Before owning a car, the routine on Saturdays was to make use of the two – hourly bus service into town. Needless to say, in those days you had to visit each individual shop in turn for the different types of items on your list. Even in Sainsbury’s with its green tiled walls you had to queue separately at different counters for different types of food. The shopping trip took time and careful planning so that you didn’t miss the bus home. It was no fun waiting another two hours encumbered with full, heavy bags of shopping.
As we see empty shelves in some sections of our supermarkets, we need to adjust our ideas about food shopping. There have been food shortages at various times over the years and it was possible to adapt and make do with what was available.
Rather than shortages though, food waste seems to be the greater problem in our society plus the rising cost of living which is having an impact on many families.
As part of our journey through Lent, we should perhaps reflect on our attitude to food.
Meeting with others to share a meal was an important tradition in the Bible. Jesus was welcomed into other people’s homes to stay and eat with them. On Maundy Thursday we remember the Last Supper, when Jesus shared bread and wine with His disciples; the event that we commemorate at each Holy Communion service.
May we hold all who are hungry in our thoughts and prayers as we approach the special days leading to Easter Sunday.