My mom has the gift of hospitality! She loves to cook and bake, and now, even at 80 years of age, it is not uncommon for her and dad to welcome lunch or dinner guests, take a meal to someone in need, or serve coffee and refreshments to a whole group at their Eden Prairie high rise. They love to serve and bless others with the love of Jesus and great food is just one of the vehicles!
When we were
kids the kitchen table was a place of great food, family, laughter and
conversation. My dad had a rule: “If your mother makes it, it’s
good, and you will eat it.” There was no criticizing or complaining about
anything that was put on the table. Of course, mom only made the meals
that dad liked, so this was an easy rule for him to enforce. Casseroles
or “hot dishes” as we called them were a staple for a growing family in those
The Bible is
full of “kitchen table talk.” Jesus broke bread with the highest and the lowest
of society but always used the opportunity to build relationships, meet needs
and share the message of God’s amazing love. He visited the home of a
fraudulent business man named Zacchaeus and turned his life around. He
multiplied a handful of loaves and fishes and turned a teaching seminar into an
outdoor picnic. He dined in the home of a member of the religious
establishment but pointed to the sincere faith of the woman who washed his feet
with her tears. He had lunch with Lazarus and his sisters just a short
time after raising him from the dead. The night before his crucifixion,
Jesus turned the Passover meal into a commemoration, or should I say a
celebration of his impending death and resurrection. Kitchen tables come
in all shapes, sizes and locations!
So, do you
welcome the Lord’s presence at your kitchen table, family gathering, coffee at
Caribou, business lunch or dinner with friends? Our meals are more on the
move than ever today; however, one thing remains true. Where two or three
gather “in his name” he promises to show up! Don’t forget to invite,
welcome and acknowledge Jesus’ presence as your most honored guest. And
then listen, he just may have something to teach you!
gather for coffee, refreshments and conversation after worship on Sundays,
remember that Jesus is in our midst. His eyes are always open to welcome
the guest, comfort the hurting, encourage the weary or celebrate with
laughter. Our eyes should be open too.
gather for fellowship with our Life Group, Teen Challenge guests, an all-church
potluck, a funeral reception or an Easter Breakfast, let’s make sure that our
“kitchen table talk” is up-building and glorifying to God. Jesus is right
there among us.
receive Holy Communion, let’s come with hearts prepared to both confess our
sins and receive God’s amazing grace, mindful of the need to extend that
forgiveness and grace to those around us.
When I was
growing up I was blessed to be in a family where anything could be talked about
openly and honestly. There was lots of love and support with an
appropriate amount of discipline and correction sprinkled in. Meal times
were happy times. God invites you to make every meal an opportunity for
“kitchen table talk,” the kind that acknowledges and welcomes our most honored