Eating With Great Love | Ron Jackson
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Dare to do small things with great love
Mother Teresa once said, ‘Most people cannot dare to do great things but we can all dare to do small things with great love.’
Inviting someone to one’s home for a meal or even a cup of tea might seem a very small thing to do, but done with great love God can use it in many ways.
The followers of Jesus in those early years met every day for meals together after worshipping God. They also learnt about Jesus, and what God wanted to do through them for others. They shared Christ’s body and blood together, learnt to pray and hear God’s voice, and basically enjoyed being together.
This early church fellowship is a pattern for the ‘Little Churches’ in our parish which are based on Story, Prayer, Acts of service, Celebration and Eating together (making SPACE).
In the Gospels, meals clearly play an important part – whether at Zacchaeus’ home, or Mary and Martha’s, or the Last Supper. Jewish table customs excluded many people, but Jesus broke through the social rules and conventions, reaching out to ‘sinners’, non-Jews, and treating women as equals. His readiness to eat with anyone instilled in his followers a heart attitude enabling them to reach across social barriers and take the message to other cultures.
There is something potentially radical about sharing food – even a simple tea and cake. If done in love, God can transform a simple act of hospitality into a far-reaching blessing.