Most of us eat three meals a day. Over the span of a year, that’s 1,095 meals. That seems quite a lot – I have no idea what it might be over a lifetime?
I am sure some of those meals have been very memorable – whether it was the meal served at our wedding, a birthday celebration or just a really good meal with great company.
A few years ago, before we had children Karen and I took a last-minute holiday one summer to Kefalonia. About a ten-minute walk from our hotel was the beach and along the beach were about ten restaurants. Each night we would try the next one in the row and each one served the most wonderful Greek food. It was here that we discovered our love for Olives, Feta, Tzatziki and Muscat!! Each night we had the sun setting over the ocean as our backdrop eating wonderful food with Karen. What was not to like? By the way, it was not quite like the picture in this blog but one day hey!!
Most significant events happen around food. Birthdays, weddings, celebrations and even funerals all have food as part of the event. Food brings us together like nothing else.
Jesus knew this and often used meals to engage with people and teach important lessons. Today, he continues to call us to his table to feast on who he is and learn more about him through his Word. Jesus’ example provides an opportunity to invite friends, outsiders and even enemies to know God’s story of love and salvation.
In the book of Luke alone, there are 10 stories of Jesus dining with various people.
Here is one.
Just like us, Jesus had friends. Siblings Lazarus, Mary and Martha were dear to him and no doubt he enjoyed getting together with them. Martha — the hostess with the mostest — was working hard to prepare a good meal for Jesus.
When Martha complained about her sister, who was just sitting and listening to Jesus, she was probably surprised when Jesus rebuked her. Essentially, he said that Mary’s choice to sit and listen to him was better than all the work she was doing.
The problem wasn’t the work. It was that she was so busy she was going to miss the purpose: spending time with Jesus.
Whether you’re having friends over for dinner or serving at church, make time to enjoy the people you’re serving. Consider taking that five-course meal down a notch, because it’s the laughs and the meaningful moments that are most memorable.
When did you last invite people round for a meal and were you too busy cooking and serving them to spend time with them?
Sometimes, what makes the meal so special isn’t the quality of the food, but the time spent together, laughing, crying, talking and praying. Jesus loves to be part of those kinds of meals.
This is our seventh holy habit – Eating Together. We will be exploring that this month starting this Sunday. See you there.