Length: 138 pp
Author: Tim Chester
One of the most powerful, God-glorifying things we can do with others is to eat. In surveying six narratives in Luke that deal with Jesus and meals, Tim Chester shows how meals enact grace, community, hope, mission, salvation, and promise. One of the most neglected of Christian virtues is hospitality. Chester will show you why it is so important that we recover this virtue, and how we can do it. I really loved “eating” this book. A Meal with Jesus is great food for the soul; it will not only nourish your own, but move you to nourish others souls by nourishing each others bodies as well.
Sharing a family meal has been replaced by the fancy dinner party. …
There’s nothing wrong with eating out or hosting a special meal—indeed there’s a lot right with it. But somewhere along the line the commercialization of meals has cost us something precious. Hospitality has become performance art, and we’ve lost the creation of intimacy around a meal.
Hospitality involves welcoming, creating space, listening, paying attention, and providing. Meals slow things down. Some of us don’t like that. We like to get things done. But meals force you to be people oriented instead of task oriented. Sharing a meal is not the only way to build relationships, but it is number one on the list.
When my friend Peter turned eighty, his son took him out for a birthday meal. His son is a top surgeon, so they went to a top restaurant. Peter told me that none of the menus had prices except his son’s. It was a sumptuous, delicious, perfect banquet—and an expensive one. But God will provide a lavish feast to surpass any five-star restaurant. What’s more, God’s menu has no prices on it, because the price has already been paid through the precious blood of Jesus.
The hospitality to which Jesus calls us can’t be institutionalized in programs and projects. Jesus challenges us to take mission home. It may be a surprise, given my emphasis on meals, but I loathe church lunches—those potluck suppers in drafty church halls. They’re institutionalized hospitality. Don’t start a hospitality ministry in your church: open your home.
Neither eating to live (food as fuel) nor living to eat (food as salvation) is right. We’re to eat to the glory of God and live to the glory of God. When we remove God from our lives, our relationship with food distorts.