My friend and author of The Meeting of the Waters, Fritz Kling recently posted on his FB page…
“Over the past 25 years, there has been a 45% drop in how often people invite friends to their homes. Wow! I know Val and I have done our part to keep that figure from being worse! But I’m troubled by what this means for a culture…and what we Christians are doing to stem the tide. In the Bible, good things happen over meals and in homes, and I feel a need now to try harder than ever to practice hospitality.”
I could NOT agree more! Good things DO happen over meals and in our homes…not to mention on our porches and back yards!!! Fritz’s comment really got me thinking…
Louis and I truly enjoy entertaining! Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who *LOVES* to cook, especially on the grill. Some of you know…you’ve tasted his delectable goodies. As many of you know, his homemade teriyaki sauce is good on just about EVERYTHING! He receives regular requests for his teriyaki steak or chicken, crab stuffed salmon, and pancakes! We have often thought of bottling it. But, can’t think of a good name. Any ideas? RevUp Teriyaki is a good possibility.
But, it is NOT just about the food goodness. It’s more about the communing….the chillin’ and relaxin’ with old friends or making new ones. It’s about building community, laughing, playing, relaxing and enjoying one another. The Bible is FULL of stories that take place around the table. I particularly like the ones that where Jesus ate with the “sinners” and the “outsiders”. Then, this got me reading…a blog…John Mark Hicks Ministries, specifically his Missional Table post, although there were more posts on the topic.
“Luke is a narrator. He tells stories rather than writing didactic prose. Through the stories he inculcates the values which he wants his community to embrace. Each meal story reveals something about Jesus and his mission. In Luke 5:27-32 Jesus sits at table with sinners as a physican among the sick. In Luke 7:36-50 Jesus receives a sinful woman at the table of a Pharisee and declares her sins forgiven. In Luke 9:10-17 Jesus shows hospitality to 5000 people as he first calls his disciples to mission (“give them something to eat”) and then models before them his messianic mission. The disciples are called to service. The table has a missional dimension; it reflects the mission of God to commune with his people at table. In Luke 10:38-42 Jesus accepts women as his disciples. In Luke 11:37-54 Jesus condemns the Pharisees because they sit at table only in form, not in spirit. In Luke 14:1-24 Jesus notes that their table does not look like the kingdom of God, but it looks like themselves. In Luke 19:1-10 Jesus invites himself to table with the tax collector Zacchaeus and declares that salvation had come to his house. Luke 24 welcomes a stranger to the table in Emmaus (Luke 24:30-35) and commissions the disciples to bear witness to gospel among all nations (Luke 24:45-49). Just as the disciples offered hospitality to a stranger on the way, so the table is a place where the church welcomes strangers (aliens or “others”). The table has a missionary quality, especially in light of the fact that the disciples receive their call to missions at a table.”
If this is what Jesus is modeling for us on a frequent basis, then who are we communing with and how often are we doing it? Based on the statistic that Fritz brought us, we must not be doing it often. I wonder why we don’t do it more. What keeps us from “breaking bread” with others on a more regular basis? Taking quality time with our families and friends?
and possibly even strangers?
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Here are a few pics of times we have welcomed friends and strangers, sinners and saints, young and old, black and white, rich and poor to our table, our porch, our back yard and our kitchen for a cooking lesson or 2! I hope to have many more full tables in the weeks, months and years to come! You are welcome at our table anytime…come on over!
I got to know Fritz Kling when I participated in RCLI (Richmond Christian Leadership Institute) in 2008-2009. You will hear more about RCLI in future posts. But…here are my 2 shameless plugs.
RCLI is accepting applications for its 4th class – 2010-2011.
Annually, RCLI selects a diverse cross-section of young Christian leaders, age 25 – 40 (yes…they made an exception for me….I was definitely over 40!!!), to participate in a nine-month leadership development program that connects them with each other and equips them for biblically-grounded, Christ-centered service in the Richmond, Virginia region.
Beginning with the overnight retreat in September and continuing through their June commissioning ceremony, the “students” gather one Friday evening and Saturday each month to explore issues confronting our region and to consider them from a Christ-centered perspective. A wide array of churches host these monthly sessions, providing a glimpse of the rich diversity of ways through which Christians worship and serve God.
Check out RCLI to apply! (Link is also in the sidebar to the right!) DEADLINE: April 1, 2010.
Fritz Kling authors and publishes his first book!
RCLI is also the brainchild of Fritz Kling. He recently wrote and released his first (of many, I hope!!!) books, The Meeting of the Waters. I can’t wait to purchase my own autographed copy! Here’s the trailer….Enjoy! May the Lord richly bless Fritz and his hard work and many late nights. May God be glorified through his book!!!!!