Posted by: Jo | March 9, 2018

Welcome to The Table

“And he took the bread and gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, “This is my body, given for you, do this in remembrance of me”

(Luke 22: 19)

Meal01Our church is currently exploring the deeper meaning of the Communion service and what it means in our spiritual walk and how what Jesus is teaching us, can spill into our daily lives.

We have had a tradition of family meals together and both my husband’s family and mine loved entertaining friends, nothing can promote true friendship, love and understanding better than eating with others, and when we are capable, (being somewhat old now) we still love having friends for dinner.

Jesus chose the gathering of family at the Passover meal to demonstrate how he was about to fulfill this sacrifice once and for all, for those he loved, and shared it with his loving friends, his disciples.

Our sermon pointed out the number of times Jesus chose to eat with others and the number of stories involved some of the most unlikely guests. He was blessing the sharing of food with others as a wonderful practice for us to follow.

I decided to  check these out at home and I was surprised that such a basic human need such as eating was transformed by Jesus, lovingly showing us that he did not classify who was appropriate to eat with him, but opened his arms to include all walks of life and how he demonstrated this while he was on  earth by eating with rich Pharisees to despised tax collectors.

  • Loving friends, Martha and Mary (Luke 10: 38)
  • Simon the Leper (Matthew 26: 6)
  • Matthew (Levi) (Luke 5: 29)
  • Rich Pharisees (Luke 14:1)
  • Zacchaeus (Luke 19: 5)

Meal02And of course, with his disciples with whom he eats the last supper and gives us a beautiful example of how we can remember him.

The Old Testament has many messages about practising hospitality to visitors and strangers and welcoming others always involved offering food to them, so the message I received from our sermon was how important it is to eat with others, not only those friends we love chatting to, but the sad, the lonely, the outcasts, Paul entreats his listeners;

“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12: 13)

Peter reminds the new church the importance of offering hospitality with love not resentment, not complaining about how much work is involved, but preparing the food with love.

“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (1 Peter 4: 9)

The other message I noted in our teaching was always remember, as we celebrate communion, the real host who is inviting us and welcoming us so lovingly to share a meal with him. A holy meal, to remind us of what it cost the Lord Jesus Christ for us to be able to come to his table.

Jesus has left us an example of true fellowship which we can lovingly incorporate into our lives, being aware of those who may need just that loving invitation to eat with someone filled with love and acceptance, and to welcome them to our table.

Meal03


Responses

  1. Dear Jo, Your reflection this week meant more to me than any other. I have come to Sydney to share a birthday meal with my sister and her large family. My sister is 81. However, it is because Jesus is present with us that the gathering matters so much. Some in the family are more conscious of this than others – as in all families. My sister’s husband is very sick. He sits beside a four year old bubbly granddaughter. In church we share Christ in the eucharist – may all Christian churches soon share this celebration too! Meanwhile, as you so beautifully remind us we can do as Jesus said and remember him in the breaking of bread with family, with friends and – particularly – with strangers. Sorry to be so long-winded this time Jo – but your words meant so much to me. Thank you – Jo

    Liked by 1 person


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