Series on Love, part 8
Text: Luke 7:34 “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking”
Who do you eat most of your meals with? What topics are usually discussed around your table? Who does most of the serving? If you notice, the center piece of the sanctuary here is a table. Whose table? What’s served? What is discussed around this table?
Today we are going to consider what tables and meals have to do with how to love others like God loves us. Luke’s Gospel is full of stories of Jesus eating with people: In Luke 5 Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners at the home of Levi. In Luke 7 Jesus is anointed at the home of Simon the Pharisee during a meal. In Luke 9 Jesus feeds the five thousand. In Luke 10 Jesus eats in the home of Martha and Mary. In Luke 11 Jesus condemns the Pharisees and teachers of the law at a meal. In Luke 14 Jesus is at a meal when he urges people to invite the poor to their meals rather than their friends. In Luke 19 Jesus invites himself to dinner with Zacchaeus. In Luke 22 we have the account of the Last Supper.In Luke 24 the risen Christ has a meal with the two disciples in Emmaus, and then later eats fish with the disciples in Jerusalem.
One commentator concluded “In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.” Study further and you’ll find that there is barely a chapter in which Jesus doesn’t use food as a means to teach his followers important lessons about Grace, God, Ethics, mission and most astoundingly, about Himself. Food is central to Jesus’ Message. Clearly, since one of our sacraments consists of a meal.
This should lead us to the conclusion that meals matter and therefore, so do tables. C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves “In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness that desires to give.”God uses man’s ever present hunger for food as the means to teach us about the ever present hunger of our soul, that only Jesus can fill.
It’s a very down to earth, practical way to teach us about himself. A table is at the heart of Jesus’ expression of Love to a needy world. Our tables should be the centerpiece of our ministry to each other and the world. They should be the heart of our family culture and our community. You don’t need a super abundance of money or a fancy program to reach people who need your love. All you need is a table and a meal. The God who is love, Jesus, came eating and drinking and so our love should go into the world eating and drinking.
Our tables express a lot about our families, our theology and our culture and those expressions should be a testimony of Love.