Updated: Mar 1
Years ago, I served with a team of volunteers at a ninety-day rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol addiction. After cooking and serving the meal, we left the kitchen, picked up a plate, and received our food as well.
Then we sat at tables to eat lunch with the clients. We exchanged greetings and smiles across the tables. As I leaned over to take my first bite, a gentleman said, “You all are different.”
Glancing up from the meal, I wondered what he meant by that statement. I asked him, “What do you mean, different?”
He responded, “There are a lot of churches, businesses, and other groups that come in here to feed us, but you all are the only ones who eat with us.”
Every Monday in the season of Lent, join me for a faithful story and a simple step in serving God and loving neighbor well.
This week, be different. Move beyond the kitchen, sit down at the table, extend God's love, and eat with a stranger or a neighbor in need.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2, The Message The Son of Man has come eating and drinking Luke 7:34a, The New Revised Standard Version
1. When was the last time you ate with a stranger?
2. Recall a moment in your faith journey where someone experienced God's love by your different words or actions.
3. Reflect on your faith habits and spiritual practices. Name a habit or start a practice which leads others to say, "You are different."
I believe we need to develop a new set of rhythms, or habits, that foster a missional lifestyle that intrigues others. Surprise the World! The Five Habits of Highly Missional People by Micheal Frost
Sharing meals together on a regular basis is one of the most sacred practices we can engage in as believers. Missional hospitality is a tremendous opportunity to extend the kingdom of God. We can literally eat our way into the kingdom of God! If every Christian household regularly invited a stranger or a poor person into their home for a meal once a week, we would literally change the world by eating! Right Here, Right Now by Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford
It is through the daily practice of the table that we live a life worth living. Through the table we know who we are, where we come from, what we value and believe. At the table we learn what it means to be family and how to live in responsible, loving relationships. Through the table we live our neighborliness and citizenship, express our allegiance to particular places and communities, and claim our sense of home and belonging. At the table we celebrate beauty and express solidarity with those who are broken and hungry. Eating Heaven: Spirituality at the Table, Simon Carey Holt (professional chef)
Over these next forty days,
we desire to be different.
Remove the cobwebs in our faith,
dust off our imaginations,
and let us surprise
someone with your grace.
Move us beyond limited human vision
toward living and breathing
your divine possibilities in the world.
We pray in name of the One
who let his disciples surprise and feed 5,000+ with 2 fish & 5 loaves,