Who Will You Invite to Dinner?
When was the last time you invited someone over for dinner? In our latest blog post, Vicar Andy shares how sharing food and fellowship with others is a valuable part of the Christian life.
Over the last few weeks I have been reminded again of the power of a simple meal with friends or potential friends.
When I lived in Brussels – Sarah and I were often invited out to restaurants by locals but not into their homes. We carefully asked why this was and the answer seemed to revolve around if you were invited into a home people saw you for who you really were – I recognise some of that in the desire to ensure the house is tidy or what will they think of the terrible paint in our downstairs loo or any number of conclusions.
But spurred on by the example of Jesus, I believe that time chatting, laughing, even weeping, reliving life experience shared and separate is a wonderful part of the Christian life with others.
David Camera writes: Christians have always enjoyed sharing a meal because of the rich biblical symbolism; because it is a tangible expression of service, love, and unity; and because of the opportunity it affords for true fellowship and genuine community. Practically, sharing a meal nourishes our need to know and be known because it facilitates face-to-face conversation.
In our digitally connected world, we share a tremendous amount of information through texts, e-mails, and tweets; however, because a significant amount of communication is nonverbal, precious little communication actually occurs digitally. Seeing someone’s facial expression, hearing the tone of his voice, and looking into his eyes are all vital elements of real communication. Ideally, sharing a meal would put us face-to-face with real people.
In our world today we seem to be growing more isolated – COVID developed a stay at home society with a fear of stepping out and into relationships of mutual trust. Surely as the church we should be defined by our love for others? Jesus calls us into an authentic relationship with himself shown in how we live out relationships with others. Loving community is a hallmark of Christian witness.
For many sharing a meal will be a new experience – for those inside and outside the church family. As we head into a month of remembering and exploring around talking about Jesus in small tangible ways and demonstrating his love in easily accessible actions. Meals can be a tremendous witness to the reality of Christ’s kingdom. We have to invite our friends and neighbours to come out into the light of unfiltered relationship both with God and with others.
I encourage you to extend an invitation today perhaps first to get to know those whom you sit with each week and also your non-church friends. Beginning to develop the kind of rich relationships we were designed to enjoy at our tables. Want to come over for dinner?
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