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A Meal With Jesus

May 5, 2011

Justin Taylor posts some of an interview about Tim Chester’s new book, A Meal With Jesus:

Do you have practical steps readers can take to encourage them to grow in initiating missional meals?

The great thing about using meals to do community and mission is that it doesn’t add anything to your busy schedule. We already have 21 ready-made opportunities each week. Nor do you have some kind to special missiological training. You just need to love Jesus, love people and enjoy eating!

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Sometimes you may want to make a special effort and celebrate the goodness of creation in a fancy meal. But most of the time it is just a question of sharing an ordinary meal with people.

Invite members of your Christian community for your evening meal.

Meet up for breakfast with someone on the way yo work.

Use lunch in the canteen to get to know your colleagues.

If you’re single, then entertaining families might be difficult, but invite them for dessert or cake.

Try to invite unbelievers together with believers so your unbelieving friends are introduced to the Christian community and get to see how Christians relate.

How can meals express a vision of the kingdom of God?

Once you start looking for it, it’s amazing how often food is used to express both judgment and salvation.

A meal in the presence of God is the goal of salvation.

The first thing God does for Adam and Eve in the garden is given them a menu, the fruit of every tree (except one).

The climax of the exodus (an act of salvation commemorated in a meal) is when the elders of Israel eat with God on the mountain in Exodus 24.

Isaiah promises a messianic banquet of rich foods that will never end in Isaiah 25 and Jesus anticipates this perpetual meal with God in the feeding of the 5,000, a meal with more food at the end than at the beginning.

The last supper looks forward to the time when Jesus will eat with his disciples in the kingdom of God.

And the Bible story ends with a meal as we celebrate the wedding supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19.

Every time we eat together as Christians we are anticipating this hope.

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