Over the past couple years we have had a small framed sign in the church narthex that simply says, “Jesus didn’t run projects, establish ministries, or put on events. He ate meals.” This is a quote from Tim Chester’s book, A Meal with Jesus. I offer this because it states something fundamental about who we are as follows of Jesus.
Last week I wrote about fellowship and how a lot of fellowship revolved around eating together. This makes perfect sense from a theological perspective. As Christians we share a sacred meal each Sunday when we celebrate Holy Communion. Holy Communion operates on many different levels, but the fact that it is bread and wine that we consume is not mere symbolism or coincidence. We are nourished by the same bread and wine, and when we share that holy food, we grow together both physically and spiritually. Spiritually, because we are each drawn deeper into the life and death of Jesus Christ – and all that that means in following his teachings, compassion, love and grace. Physically, because our bodies are all sharing in the same molecules that make up the elements of bread and wine – we have eaten the same food, and it is now a part of all of us.
This way of thinking can and should be applied to our understanding of sharing any food in fellowship. When we share a meal with each other, we are sharing the same nourishment. When the meal is over and we separate company, a part of what we shared goes with everyone who was present. Perhaps, this is why sharing food is sometimes considered such an intimate act. Food brings us closer together. This is also a big reason we eat together at St. Luke’s. Whether it is Wednesday evening dinners, First Sunday Potlucks, coffee hour after worship, or the upcoming Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, we grow together when we share food.
Share a meal with a friend, or a stranger, or your family, or a fellow church member, or with someone who you need to repair your relationship. Eat together and see what happens. Below, be sure to watch a video that made the rounds on social media last year, but illustrates beautifully how community is restored, formed, and strengthened when we choose to share a meal.
In Faith, Hope & Love,