From the series, "Eating and Drinking" as part of Practicing the Way. Jesus was the happiest person alive, and he prayed that his apprentices would have “the full measure of my joy within them.” Joy is more than just an emotion; it is an overall condition of the heart. But how do we become joyful people? Through the spiritual discipline of celebration. And the best way to do that is to eat together as a family…
From the series, "Eating and Drinking" as part of Practicing the Way. Long before followers of Jesus ever built cathedrals, they met in homes, around a table, eating and drinking as brothers and sisters. As family. This is a very simple idea that tragically, we’ve lost over the millennia, at great cost to the church. What if we were to recapture the shared meal as the center of gravity in our church?
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." In a post-Christian world, followers of Jesus are not the majority. If we are to reach a world like ours, what posture are we to take? In our time and place, Jesus invites us to follow him and become like him. The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." Jesus is proclaiming a gospel where the foundation is on the glory of what God has done, not the righteous effort of man. A religious spirit has no place in his kingdom, he is doing a new thing, offering a new wine. will we value the wine over the wineskin and drink of his new covenant?
From the series, "Eating and Drinking" as part of Practicing the Way. One dimension of the ancient art of hospitality is using food to do justice. Though Jesus’s ambition was to use the dinner table as a tool to do good, he was well aware that it was also being used to do injustice. The same is true today: Everything you eat has a story. How can we, as disciples of Jesus, break our food’s relationship with injustice in order to do good, eating and drinking?
From the series, "Eating and Drinking" as part of Practicing the Way. Jesus said we are to “love your neighbor as yourself.” What if he meant our actual neighbors? What if we were to reimagine our homes not as a castle to hide in, but as an outpost for the kingdom of God? And our tables as a tangible expression of love? Our meals as the setting where strangers become neighbors and neighbors become brothers and sisters?
From the series, "Eating & Drinking" as part of Practicing the Way. Jesus “came eating and drinking.” If he had a “method of evangelism,” that was it: eat a meal with people far from God. And all through the New Testament, apprentices of Jesus are commanded to follow his example through the practice of hospitality. Something as radically ordinary and setting a table can create space for people far from God to experience the Father’s warm welcome into his family.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." What does it look like to have heaven invade earth? How do we receive the kingdom and how do we give it to others? Jesus shows us what this looks like when he confronts people on the margins of society through the miracle of healing.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." Jesus ends his manifesto of life in the kingdom of the heavens, not with a pep talk or feel-good story, but with a warning about what happens when we don’t put his teachings into practice. In the “information age” and a cultural moment where hearing something and then doing nothing about it is the new normal, this is a warning we need to hear and heed.