Breaking Bread Beyond Borders
Sharing a Meal Meant Sharing a Life
What does it mean for us today if we choose to follow Jesus’ example of sitting at the table with sinners? (Lk 5:27-32) What will it cost us to enter their homes and share in the celebration of life.
Jesus’ radical practice of table fellowship challenges those of us who are preoccupied with preserving our mutual exclusiveness and good standing in the community at large. Are we prepared to go beyond the borders of our eating habits? Are we ready to eat with anybody regardless of class, color, creed or condition?
How would you feel if Jesus was nudging you on to risk your reputation in the community and reach out to those of questionable character? Would you be willing to move out of your own comfort zone and dare to be different? Who are the people who sit across your table today? Isn’t it far easier to rub elbows with the more meaningful, successful, and beautiful people around you? Would you take the initiative to set aside your table manners and deliberately tread the unfamiliar territory of table fellowship?
Think about the types of people Jesus sat with. In what ways can you take Christ to those in need of His help? Safeguarding our reputations can hinder our ministry to the backslidden, insignificant, unwanted or neglected people in our churches and communities. The religious establishment in Jesus’ day couldn’t stomach the thought of mingling with the refuse of society.
Why not take the time to pray for an individual whom God has placed in your life, asking Him to show you concrete ways in meeting this person’s need? Why not invite this individual to your home for a warm and sumptuous meal? It’s one thing to take a meal to a needy person outside your home and it’s another to invite that person in. During the time of Jesus, the principle of sharing a meal meant sharing life. This was the Messiah’s means of restoring the sinner’s relationship with God. As the people of God, we should wisely employ this strategy in our effort to reach out and share the life of Christ with others. I encourage you to break bread beyond your borders.
My conviction toward this practice has led me to sit and share a meal across many tables. In the process, I have seen businessmen cry and confess their sins to Christ across many conference tables deep in the wilderness of a financial center. I have heard broken women sob and surrender their lives to Christ across many dining tables deep in the wilderness of a suburban community. I have witnessed former employees repent and receive Christ across many drafting tables deep in the wilderness of the advertising world. My father came to Christ across a dinner fellowship table. My youngest brother came to Christ across a coffee shop table. And seated at a table, I too came to Christ and shared His meal of forgiveness and restoration.
Copyright 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.