The Audacity of a Shared Meal

I invited myself over for dinner at a friends’ home.

I’m not normally one to barge in but it was the first warm evening in a long time. I’d been at a women’s retreat and had enjoyed singing God’s praises with other women for the first time in forever. And it just seemed like too perfect a night not to share a meal with friends.

Now, I was prepared to invite the friends to enjoy a meal on my front porch, but they live on the water and she’s an incredible cook and she’s often spoken of cooking way too much for two but feeling it was too late to invite anyone over, so I took a chance.

Jackpot! Not only was I welcome (along with my mortified husband), but we were also able to visit with another friend already scheduled to visit and share a wonderful evening of great food, stories, deep conversation, and laughter.

This is a good friend. She was unflummoxed by the last-minute call. She laughed at my husband’s initial discomfort, quickly dispensed with at the warm welcome by their dogs and the first taste of cheese with crackers. She’d already made plenty of food. And her hospitality was simple, elegant, and appeared effortless (although I am sure it was not).

There is a verse in Revelation that I adore. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.This is Jesus.

The breaker of bread. The attender of feasts. The welcome guest. The God who sits on high but who enters in to share a meal. The God who sees, who listens, who loves like a friend. The God Almighty who calls us, not servants, but friends.

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 ESV. Words He spoke during the last supper with His apostles before His crucifixion. He spoke with them as friends.

The God of all Creation, Master of the Universe, All-powerful, All-mighty God, became one of us, pulled a chair up to the table, and dipped a piece of bread into our shared oil. He knew how dangerous we were. That we would always choose sin, faithlessness, denial, and betrayal. He knew behind our backs we held signs that read “Crucify” and hidden in our belts were a hammer and nails.

But, His love was so great, He pulled us even closer to Him, made us laugh with His stories and think with His parables – calling to our greater angels and binding the strongman who held us captive to stale bread and water as He filled our cups into the best wine.

Jesus, so certain of His Father, so sure of God’s plan determined at the foundation of time, so confident of the triumph that lay beyond the cross, He drew us to Him and loved us deeper, even though it was His shoulders on which would fall the Father’s wrath due to us because of our sin.

He looked us in the eyes. He held our hands. He ate our bread, shared our board, and stared up at the stars beside us with the clatter of dishes being cleared in the background. He loved us completely.

And then He died at the hands of our sin to provide us with eternal life.

After He was resurrected, after His suffering and His death, once He was risen to new life, again, He ate with us again. He delighted Himself to walk with two travelers on the road to Emmaus, them not recognizing the risen Christ.

He taught them what the Scriptures had taught about the Messiah from Moses through the prophets, and they were so entranced, they begged Him to stay – and He did. He entered their home, shared their table, and when He broke the bread, their eyes were open, and they recognized the Lord.

And He met His fishing disciples on their beach. When they returned from their labors, He was there with a charcoal fire, fish, and bread. He said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And once again, their eyes were opened.

So, I guess I want to ask you today is have you invited Jesus to sit at your table and eat? Have you let Him come close enough to call you friend, to be in Your home, and to sit beside a fire with you on the beach over grilled fish and warm rolls?

We’ve had such an extended separation from shared meals that surely a piece of hearts went into lockdown. Sure, many of us found ways to meet virtually and that was a handy substitute, but it didn’t allow for the intimacy of a passed plate, an awkward silence, shared star-gazing, or laughter at the antics of a thieving dog licking at an unattended cheese plate.

Is your relationship with Jesus more like a virtual visit or like sitting with a friend close enough, you could invite yourself over for dinner and be welcomed with open arms?

His desire is for that face-to-face, bread dipped in the shared oil, enjoying the fire and silence relationship. His friendship is not reserved for the Moses’ among us. It is available for every Peter, John, James, and Joe Christian among us. Or Joan. Or Nikita. Or Song. Or Lashonda. Or Hector. Or Tien.

He stands at the door and knocks. The One through whom all things were created. The One whose idea was hot coffee, warm bread, fresh vegetables, and grilled fish. The One who created starry nights, firelight, crickets, peepers, and storytelling. This One who laid down His life for us. He stands at the door and knocks.

Go ahead. Invite Him in.


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2 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Anonymous says:

    😊

    Gave me a warm feeling just thinking about how peaceful it is to simply rejoice with the Lord!

    Thank you!

  2. Maureen says:

    I love this so much. Wish we could yank the miles together and make the distance less. You and your (mortified) husband would be welcome at our table anytime!
    This makes me think of Sara Groves’ song “Every Minute.” One line toward the end says “you’re the first one I’m inviting, always know that you’re invited, my friend.”
    That is what I want to always say to Jesus!
    There’s an old Maranatha song that I listened to as a girl that talked about Jesus coming to “sup” with us. I remember asking my mom what that meant and she simply explained that it was Jesus’s desire to dine with us.
    Yes!❤️ Thank you for the reminder!