Saturday, July 02, 2011

Meals as mission

My new books from Amazon arrived today (the free super saver shippping seems to be getting ever faster!) and I opened up one of them to check it out, Tim Chester's A Meal with Jesus. It is a smallish book and I am only a few pages into it but it has been absolutely fascinating thus far and highly quotable to boot. Here is an early one I liked a lot:
I don't want to reduce church and mission to meals, but I do want to argue that meals should be an integral and significant part of our shared life. They represent the meaning of mission, but they more than represent it: they embody and enact our mission. Community and mission are more than meals, but it's hard to conceive of them without meals. (A Meal with Jesus, pp. 14-15)
I like that a lot. Which is a better way to get to know a fellow believer, sharing a meal together or sitting silently in church together? Where do most of your most edifying conversations happen, across a table or in a pew? Is an unbeliever more likely to be honest and open to hearing the Gospel during a meal with a friend or while sitting in the midst of an unfamiliar ritual? I am very excited about this book, I can't wait to see what other insights I find. One more quick quote:
If you share a meal three or four times a week and you have a passion for Jesus, then you will be building up the Christian community and reaching out in mission. (A Meal with Jesus, pg. 16)
Amen. The church has millions of its best missionaries and evangelists who feel as though they are unqualified and not called to make disciples but they are the ones who have the very best opportunities on a daily basis to do just that. Unleash the people of God and set them on the mission of God and see what happens!

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