Have you ever noticed how Jesus ate food with people all the time? He ate with sinners and he ate with his disciples. He miraculously fed the more than five thousand, and invited himself over to eat with Zaccheus-- the worst of the worst in Jesus' day. He even ate with religious leaders, and then showed them how they were wrong.
Some have commented on how Jesus did so much ministry involving food, even once cooking breakfast for His disciples. However, I think the actual act of eating with people IS ministry. Sharing a meal or coffee with someone changes us. It's part of the common human experience. Although every culture is different, mealtime has certain parallels in all of them.
If you're willing, you began to see life through someone else's eyes. You realize they didn't have your life or maybe your privileges. You understand them a bit more. You respect them just as a human being created in God's image. Your thoughts steer away from yourself, and in our culture of selfies and personal monuments, that's a good thing.
Secondly, you can practice hospitality. When Mary and I were working on and praying about a focus for our ministry, hospitality was one of the main themes. Jesus said He came to serve, and hospitality can be one of the ways we mirror Jesus. You can even be hospitable in someone else's home, offering to serve where you can.
Some of the most grateful people in the world can be those who have lost everything or even simply feel alone. I'll never forget when someone I worked with gave me a dining room table. It was beautiful and not cheap. When he was about to move away, he made a comment that he thought he would have at least gotten to share a meal at our house. I felt terrible and knew I had missed an opportunity to share God's love. Sometimes we can be intimidated by people we work with, especially in a hierarchical structure, but don't forget to reach out to all people, regardless of "rank".
Lastly, by sharing a meal, you can celebrate. Isn't it amazing that near the very end of the Bible (Revelation 19:9), we see all of heaven joining together for a feast! After all our time on earth is done, we get to attend the greatest meal and party the universe has ever seen. I think that's pretty awesome! Celebration of all God has done must include food! OK, we can celebrate in other ways too, but who doesn't want to eat when celebrating?
So, take a look at your schedule. Even if you're super busy, maybe there's a lunch you can spend with someone during the work day. I think part of the reason God made us have to eat, was so we would have to sit down, take a break from life and hopefully spend some time with someone.
See someone in a new light, be hospitable and celebrate with someone. Someday, we'll all be in heaven at the biggest feast the universe has ever seen. I look forward to that day, and let's all pray that those we go through life with will join us.
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in an RV. We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!