Greeting from the Southwest!!!
I’m off on vacation this week, and I stayed in Amarillo Sunday night before making it out to New Mexico on Monday. Originally I wanted to say that to make you jealous, but the weather back in Bowling Green is going to be very nice through the next week. If you’re reading this from one of those places that is a lot colder…then you can be jealous.
But I bring that up, because while man you were at church, I was listening to sermons while driving. I know that sounds like your idea of a good time for a long drive, but I enjoyed it. There was one in particular that I heard that really hit me. I was listening to sermons from Church of the Resurrection, but this one was for a Sunday when Adam Hamilton wasn’t there and Leonard Sweet was preaching for him.
You can find a link to his sermon here. If you’ve got some time, I recommend that you listen. Its worth the time. You’ll get a little bit of it as I write.
In that sermon, and I’m also assuming in his new book, which you can find here (I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list for this week), he points out that so much of what we see Jesus doing is eating. He’s always eating. He multiplies loaves and fishes multiple times. He turns water into wine. He eats with sinners, and he even commits the worst of all social sins…..he even invites himself over to another man’s house to have tea (and I apologize if you now have that song stuck in your head about Zacceaus).
But more importantly, he does important things around food. He celebrates the last supper, and therefore communion by breaking bread and drinking wine. Then look at two of the most important appearances Jesus makes after his resurection. In one he remains a mystery until he breaks bread with the men he walked with on the road to Emmaus. And then, down on the beach, he cooks fish for his disciples.
You could say, at this point, that we should do more around food, but there’s something more important that’s going on here. If you notice, there’s no one texting, or watching tv, or running late (except for Thomas), or missing meals, or stuff like that. Jesus recognizes that one of the most important things we can do is gather with one another for meals.
Those are the most important times when community is formed, and people are brought together. Sharing in those meals is what helped make the disciples the group that they were. It wasn’t just because Jesus was a good teacher, but part of his teaching was about bringing together a group of people who shouldn’t be together in one group. So Jesus is a foodie, because he gets something important about food. It’s not about taste, but about the people you eat with. If you can sit down and eat with someone, that can be the start of something great that you can be together.
I know that in this day and age, that family meals, or group meals without other distractions, are kind of a dying art. However, eating together has impacts beyond our ability to really understand (even the science behind this says that). What I want you to do is to go and sit and eat with folks this week. Don’t do it in front of the tv. Leave your phones/tablets/phablets/shiny devices behind, and share in an ancient practice of the church, and begin the process of finding out what you can do and be together.