Gathered around the family table, I am called upon to pray before the evening meal. In a moment of what I can only describe as sheer insanity, my irreverent little ten-year-old self, the same child who blew out her bubblegum upon the big red doors of the First Baptist Church, boldly declares, “Good bread, good meat, good God, let’s eat!”
My father chuckles and tries to cover it with a cough. My mother is not amused, and I am asked to leave the table.
I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I love that Jesus leaves the 99 to go after the 1.
I love the story of the prodigal son’s return, and—while still a long way off—his father runs full tilt with arms wide open to welcome his son home.
And I love that Jesus “…welcomes sinners and eats with them”. I think that may be what I love most.
I mess up more than I’d like; I am far from perfect. Yet, still Jesus welcomes me with arms wide open & eats with me daily. That’s amazing. That’s grace.
A meal with Jesus—a moment of grace; a time of connection and communication.
A meal with Jesus—offering “a divine moment, an opportunity … to be seduced by grace into a better life, a truer life, and a more human existence.”*
A meal with Jesus—to be shared with others. Literally. Sharing a meal with friends, or strangers, extends God’s grace and life into the world.
It’s called hospitality: the relationship between guest and host, where the host receives the guest with grace & open arms.
I’ve found that Jesus is the perfect host. He serves up a great meal. He is good bread. He is good meat. He is a good God. And I eat—as often as I can.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good …” Psalm 34:8 (KJV).
*Tim Chester, A Meal With Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table.