"In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal." As Tim Chester notes in his book, A Meal With Jesus, the meals of Jesus are a window into his message of grace and the way it defines his community and its mission.
If time around the table was integral to the way Jesus did ministry, shouldn’t that practice mark the way we live as his followers? That is the question we have been wrestling with at Spanish River Church for the last four weeks.
On Sunday, I encouraged our church family to put this into practice (click here for the full message):
- Open your home for community.
- Join in neighborhood events.
- Throw a great party.
- Invite someone to lunch and pick up the check.
Later that afternoon, sitting down to a meal at our table, Katrina, one of our daughter's-in-law, asked me this question: "How do you see that working out in yours and mom's life and in the life of SRC?"
It was a great question. Shannan and I, like Daniel and Katrina, like all of us I suppose, have full days and busy schedules. We are doing this to varying degrees and want to do it more, but how?
There are so many things that can make it tough for any of us to sit down to a meal with Jesus:
- The demands of a crowded schedule.
- A growing family.
- The season of young children.
- Excessive travel for business or pleasure.
- Travel sports.
The list could go on and on, but Katrina's question had us both brainstorming how to make "a meal with Jesus" a part of our normal rhythm of life. We want to invite people to the table. We want to demonstrate and share the gospel of Jesus.
Today, I want to ask you to wrestle with that question yourself.
Like the crowd watching Jesus at the Pharisee's home, people are watching you. That's not a cause for worry, but a delightful reason to engage people around a common meal. Since Jesus is present your table becomes a place for his work.
Perhaps you'll want to leave a comment as to how you are seeing this work out in your life.
- "In Luke's Gospel ..." from Robert J. Karis, Eating Your Way Through Luke's Gospel (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2006), 14. Quoted in A Meal With Jesus, by Tim Chester. Wheaton, IL: Crossway. 2011. Page 13.
- "On Sunday I encourage people to...", the basis of that list there comes from A Meal With Jesus, chapter 4, "Meals As Enacted Mission."