There’s a whole lot of eating going on!
This month when people ask me what I’m up to when I reply, I understand if they think I’ve gone into the catering business. Tomorrow begins a series of events centred around food, with the kickoff of our Street Hope Christmas Festivities. We are hosting a free breakfast for the uptown community. Next Friday we are hosting a Turkey Dinner for the community. Both these meals are being cooked and served by local youth basketball teams. It is such a privilege to be able to offer these caring young people a venue to share their care for those who have less than they themselves have. It is a joy to see them interact with folks they might otherwise never meet. On the 28th we will be hosting a lunch for the community. This is being put on by a well-known local businessman and some of his friends from his Coffee Group. These folks enjoy putting on a lavish meal for our friends from the community. My main task for these three meals is to unlock the building and hopefully supply a crowd. These tasks seem easy enough. Besides these two duties I also undertake to see that these events are girded in prayer.
On the 21st we will be taking part as Threshold Ministries sponsors a Christmas Banquet. A group of local Threshold Evangelists and our wider circle will be having a fun time of fellowship as we ready the food and room for this fund-raising dinner. Money raised will go toward our new Threshold House project and besides hearing an update on the state of Threshold across the country we will be sharing something of the vision and progress of this new project.
There is indeed a whole lot of eating going on! Perhaps we should recall all the times Jesus was found eating and the part food played in his ministry. One of the accusations hurled at him was, “He is a friend of sinners and eats with them!” There is something wonderfully levelling about sitting down at the table. I think of poor lame Mephibosheth who was invited to tuck his broken limbs beneath the King’s table and be a full participant in the royal banquets. The table rather than being a place of judgement is a place of acceptance and belonging.
Christmas Festivities offer us the opportunity to “build a longer table”, and to go into the highways and bi-ways and convincingly invite people to find a welcome at the table as we sinners celebrate the wonderful gift of salvation, full and free!
I am also mindful of those who are in grief and mourning at this ‘joyful’ time of year. The table is open to them as well and space is offered for them to bring their authentic sadness with them. Together we will look forward to the Return of the King, when sorrow and sighing will be no more. For we all need to eat!