Editor’s Note: Our overarching theme for devotions during the five months of the liturgical calendar called Ordinary Time is Jesus is sending his church. Using Michael Frost’s B.E.L.L.S. acronym as a framework, the topics will relate to missional living.
- As “sent” people, we are invited to…
- bless others generously, in word and deed (July),
- eat with others hospitably (August),
- listen to the Spirit while engaging with others (September),
- learn Jesus’ teachings as a disciple (October),
- and, sent people share the good news with others (November)
We are ruled by the love of Christ, now that we recognize that one man died for everyone, which means that all share in his death. He died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but only for him who died and was raised to life for their sake. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 GNT
How great it is to be welcomed in a home where the love of Christ is obvious. You can see it but also smell it in the food prepared by the host and the warm simplicity that makes us feel at home. I have deep memories of the joy, the comfort, and the love I experienced around tables. They were real divine appointments.
In some of our French translations, this passage says, “We are pushed, squeezed by the love of God.” The Message says, “Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.” Hospitality is one of the products or fruits of this love. It helps strengthen bonds between brothers and sisters but also with the spiritually homeless around us. During Jesus’ ministry, many major events took place during meals, and miracles were performed. He showed us a wonderful way to relate with others and touch hearts.
The COVID-19 pandemic made us more suspicious about having people in our homes. Fear took root and affected our relationships.
Yet hospitality can still be shared in different ways in today’s context: at home with the required precautions or at outdoor gatherings and in our workplaces. For those who have mobility limitations, we can visit them in their homes. Hospitality can also be sharing pizza on a park bench or a drink after sport activities. Food brings people together. Let’s be intentional and innovative!
Meal-sharing blesses guests and hosts and is an ideal setting to share the bread of life in us. Just listen to the divine appointments Jesus has already taken for us, and we will be able to live for him and not for ourselves. Bon Appétit!
Jesus, as a sent church, we desperately need to experience and share YOU with our fellow neighbors. Holy Spirit, please squeeze our hearts by God’s love and open our eyes to see the tables you have already set for all of us! Amen.