Acts 1:1-11: A meal with Jesus.(please click for todays passage)
After Jesus rose from the dead, He ‘’showed himself’’ to his apostles and ‘’gave many convincing proofs that he was alive’’ (3). One of these compelling evidences lay in the fact that He ate with them (4; see Luke 24:36-43). Ghosts don’t join you for a meal.
- Consider the place of table fellowship in the ministry of Jesus. It would be a profitable exercise, I believe, to read all four gospels, noting everything Jesus said and did around the meal table. Following His resurrection, Jesus continued ‘’to do and to teach’’ (1). That included eating with the disciples and saying important things to them in the context of food. A central ordinance of the church: the Lord’s Supper, was initiated around a meal table;
- Consider what we might still profitably do around our tables – giving the gift of ourselves, our food and our time; and all done from love of Jesus and with the awareness of His presence. In some ways it can cost, but it is such a blessing to share leisurely time with others. People will often open up in this more intimate setting; barriers can come down, and meaningful conversation be shared. Not every Christian has the gift of hospitality; but we can all give We can choose to be hospitable, rather than dig a moat around our lives and pull up the drawbridge. I think we should all keep under prayerful review who we should be inviting to share meals with us. The basis should never be, by the way, whether or not they will invite you back! When I was a young, single pastor in Lancaster, a couple in the church, Nic and Jean, had me over for a meal twice a week. It was about more than food. They shared love. They wanted fellowship. Whenever I thanked them, their reply was, ‘’We do it for the Lord.’’ I will always bless them for their kindness to me in otherwise lonely days. You do not forget that kind of strategic ministry. They took their young pastor under their wing, and did what they could;
- Consider the spirit in which we ought to eat all our meals. Saying ‘grace’ should not be cursory. It’s a time to pause and thank the Lord for His wonderful provision of ‘’our daily bread’’. As we turn our hearts towards Him in thankfulness, may we also be asking Him to speak to us at this meal time, around this As I read the gospels, I see that Jesus ‘does’ and ‘teaches’ at meals – before and after His resurrection. May we know His presence here today, over this good food; let us hear His voice. Eat thankfully; prayerfully
- Consider the ‘meal’ Luke prepared for ‘’Theophilus’’ (1). Luke wrote his gospel and the ‘Acts’ for this one man. It seems he may have been a high ranking Gentile official. Luke spread a ‘feast’ for him, telling him about the life and ministry of Jesus; His death and resurrection; and then the unfolding of the story of the early church. Still today we are invited to Luke’s ‘banquet’. Let’s eat heartily, for we do not live ‘’on bread alone.’’
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, as you are so generous to me, help me to consider prayerfully and carefully who I may serve at my table.