The Hunger for Home

What do the fields, rivers, and streams that provide food have to do with the God who created them?

How do we become at home in this world where so many hunger for food, for companionship, or for the presence of God?

"Scripture is also a feast." As an invitation to feast at the table of God’s word, The Hunger for Home explores the deepest human longings for home through the simple ingredients of bread, water, wine, and stories. Matthew Croasmun and Miroslav Volf read the meals of the Gospel of Luke as stories of God eating with God’s people. By making a common home with us in this way, God turns all our meals into invitations to eat in God’s home—a home with a seat open for all who are willing. No longer is bread simply fuel for getting through the day, but also a call to be present to the agricultural workers, grocers, chefs, friends, and strangers with whom food connects us: everyone God is calling to the banquet. As Croasmun and Volf show, Luke gives us an image of creation at home by bringing God into the home, as it was always meant to be.

About Matt Croasmun & Miroslav Volf

Matt Croasmun (PhD, Yale University) is Associate Research Scholar at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He is the coauthor, with Miroslav Volf, of For the Life of the World and directs the Yale Life Worth Living Initiative. Follow him on Twitter @MattCroasmun.

Miroslav Volf (DrTheol, University of Tübingen) is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and founding director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture in New Haven, Connecticut. He has written more than twenty books, including A Public Faith, Public Faith in Action, Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World, and Exclusion and Embrace (winner of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion and selected as among the one hundred best religious books of the twentieth century by Christianity Today). Follow him on Twitter @MiroslavVolf.

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"One of the most moving scenes in all four Gospels is in the home of someone in Emmaus. The two walkers implored Jesus, whom they had not yet recognized, to stay with them. So Jesus did. At the table that night Jesus, with the bread in his hands, thanked God and then broke it. In the act of breaking bread, in the home, the eyes of the two disciples were opened and they perceived the truth of who Jesus was—their crucified and resurrected Lord. In a home, over bread—nothing could be more common and more revelatory. Homes matter, for in them God breaks through. The Hunger for Home, scene after scene, reveals how home slakes our thirsts and satisfies our deepest longings."

Scot McKnight, Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

"At once theologically constructive and historically inflected, this text is versatile: it would serve well both as the centerpiece of an adult education series and as devotional literature for individual readers."

The Christian Century

"This book will help you to find deeper meaning in something you do every single day. Croasmun and Volf explore how the seemingly ordinary act of eating is an extraordinary occasion for mutual care and encounter with the living God. By bringing the meals of Luke’s Gospel to life, Croasmun and Volf explain why being at home with one another and with God is possible every day and closer at hand than we thought."

Angela W. Gorrell, author of The Gravity of Joy: A Story of Being Lost and Found

"I have been reading and studying the Scriptures for almost fifty years on a near-daily basis. The Hunger for Home offered the rare experience in which, on numerous occasions, I thought ‘I’ve never considered that intertextual connection before’ and ‘I’ve never had this biblical text explained in such a fresh way!’ I highly recommend The Hunger for Home for small groups and for personal devotional study. It is a spiritual feast."

Rich Nathan, Founding Pastor, Vineyard Columbus

"If you’re looking for a retreat or small group book on eating practices and Christian discipleship, this is it. Plenty has been written on ancient meal practices in the Gospels, not all of it accessible to broad audiences. The Hunger for Home offers a provocative, historically informed meditation on meals in Luke that can be enjoyed by novice and expert alike—alone or with others, in a day, a week, or a month."

Sonja Anderson, Assistant Professor of Religion, Carleton College

"By walking us through the Gospel of Luke, Croasmun and Volf help us see why the meals we eat, and who we share them with, should be a foretaste of our eternal home. The result is a very practical, and very moving, book—indeed, I would say that reading the book is itself a spiritual exercise. I warmly recommend it, therefore, to pastors, church groups, theologians, or anyone else who is trying to live a faithful life."

Kevin W. Hector, Professor of Theology and of the Philosophy of Religions, University of Chicago