Charlie Meo

An interesting thing happens towards the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He is accused of eating and drinking too much by the Pharisees.
“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinner!’” (Luke 7:34)
Jesus loved sharing meals.
Not only that, Jesus made meals central to his ministry and to fellowship with his disciples.
As Tim Chester says, “He was a party animal. His mission strategy was a long meal, stretching into the evening. He did evangelism and discipleship round a table with some grilled fish, a loaf of bread, and a pitcher of wine” (13).
For some reason, I have been blind to this aspect of Jesus’ life and ministry. But it makes sense. Meals are powerful. Meals are what makes shallow relationships deeper.
And sharing a meal gets brought into a whole new spectrum when we understand the banquet feast that awaits those who have called upon the Lord (Luke 14:12-24).
Has Westernized, Canadian, Individual Christianity missed something? Have we lost the art of sharing meals as a central aspect of ministry?
Possibly, Yes. Canadians including myself have seen food as purely nutritional.
So as I continue meditate on the theology of food throughout the school year, I have set some goals to align myself with a Christ-like view of food and sharing meals. Maybe we can all practice these things

Sharing a meal with a friend
  • No, this isn’t just going to McDonald’s and ordering several items off the dollar menu via drive-thru. This is consciously picking a time that a friend and I can sit down and serve one another through prayer and intentionality in asking the tough questions. It’s also sharing a meal with laughter and praise for what God is doing.
Sharing a meal with someone who can’t pay you back
  • Jesus’ command in Luke 14 is pretty clear: don’t invite those to the banquet who can pay you back. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and you will be blessed. What would it look like to share a meal with someone you know cannot pay you back? For me this means, taking a high schooler out to lunch or driving to inner-city L.A. and walking with a homeless man to a local store. Whatever it is, let’s take the Bible literally on this point. The proclamation of the Gospel begins with sharing a meal.
Share a meal as Communion
  • When you think of communion, do you think of a hearty meal? Honestly, I think of a small piece of cracker and a small plastic cup of grape juice. Maybe, we are missing something essential to Communion and the remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Maybe, when we think of the highlight meal of the year, it shouldn’t be Thanksgiving but a celebration of Communion. What would it look like for Christians to celebrate Communion as an actual meal in actual community like an actual feast with the risen Lamb? I’m gonna try it.
Jesus found value in food and meals. Maybe we should too.
So when you eat a meal this week, share it.
When you are hungry this week, understand your dependency on food and your dependency on Yahweh.
And when you live the Gospel this week, make it meal centered, just like Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. Authentic, practical, involving.. It takes grace and love to a true level and can be very difficult but rewarding.