Join us in sharing nine meals that have the potential to transform us, our families, and our neighbors.
In describing the core of his mission, Jesus said “the Son of Man came eating and drinking” (Luke 7:34), because more than other regular activity, Jesus’ eating habits embodied his mission and enacted the kingdom of God. The meals Jesus shared with people, particularly as recorded in the Newer Testament book of Luke, were full of surprising inclusion, extravagant grace, daily dependence, unhurried listening, challenging freedom, hospitable invitation, transforming initiative, grateful remembrance, and celebratory presence. By sharing these kinds of meals, Jesus shows us what entering into and experiencing the kingdom of God looks like, and he invites us to consider how our own meals can be parables of the kingdom as well.
In first-century culture, meals were the epicenter of social and spiritual life. In Jewish culture in particular, not only were meals a time to build and solidify friendships, familial ties, and social status, but meals were also permeated with specific dietary and cleanliness rules developed over the years on the basis of God’s law. For Jews to eat with Gentiles was not impossible, but it was extremely difficult to do so and remain faithful to those established boundaries and expectations. In light of this, Jesus intentionally ate with all the “wrong” people and broke almost all of the rules. He didn’t do so out of disrespect for God’s law or Jewish history. He did so in order to enact the arrival of an entirely new way of relating to God and living out his will. Jesus called this “the kingdom of God,” and it was about to overturn the world.
In our culture, meals don’t hold the same social and spiritual weight, but they still matter deeply, and we carry into them certain expectations for who we eat with and how to do that. What if, inspired by Jesus’ way of sharing meals with others, we too began to adopt some different and perhaps even subversive ways of eating? How might this impact how we grasp who God is and his will for our lives? What impact might these counter-cultural ways of eating impact those who share meals with us?
Join us as we explore Jesus’ mission through the lens of nine meals and improvise nine new ways of eating and sharing our own meals that have the potential transform us, our families, and our neighbors.