Meals open doors for God to work in and through our relationships with others, and we have been looking at specific ways we can see this at work! Today, we will look at 2 areas we can see in the Bible where God uses meals as an opportunity to serve and teach one another.
Meals are an opportunity to CELEBRATE
Culturally, we celebrate things with meals and food. Not only big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but most special occasions tend to incorporate food. Jesus celebrated with people because the gospel was good. Christians should be celebrating as well and should be throwing the best parties because we have the best reason to rejoice! Our salvation! Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us, He is for us…so we should continually be excited and thankful!
Luke 5:27-29 says, “After this He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him. And Levi made Him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.”
Invite people over to a party and celebrate God’s goodness!
Deuteronomy 14:26 says, “And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.”
When we have people in our homes, it allows people to see what our lives are like. The kids arguing or making a mess is part of real life! People can see that we don’t celebrate because we have everything together, but because God is so good and we rejoice in HIS goodness!
Meals are an opportunity to CARE FOR PEOPLE
Sometimes, we can forget that there are people in need of something as basic as food. We know it is a problem in the world, but we can forget how much providing a simple dinner for someone can make a difference for them. John wrote in 1 John 3:17-18, “But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
Opening your home to people not only meets a physical need, but can also meet the even more important emotional need to feel loved and accepted. There is nothing worse than feeling out of place or unwelcome. When we open up our homes and our lives to people and make them feel at home there, they feel it. People know when they are truly welcome in your home and loved.
Hospitality is a very big deal for Christians, because LOVING PEOPLE is a very big deal!
Romans 12:13 says, “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Being hospitable is even a requirement for elders in the church. We should be looking for opportunities to show hospitality to people! And watch how the Lord uses these times to show His love and mercy to people through you. You may not see the impact in that moment, but you can be sure that God will use it!
So, let me challenge you to ask God what opportunities you have to use meals to show His love to someone. Look for ways that you can share COMMUNITY and CONVERSATION (see part 2 of this series) with someone, CELEBRATE the goodness of God by having a gathering, and genuinely CARE FOR SOMEONE in need through hospitality. God will use you!