Eating and Drinking
Luke 10: 7 | By Rev Paul Sausser
“Birds of a feather flock together," means people with similar tastes and interests hang together. People like to have a sense of security. We don’t have a safety net when we experience something uncharted. We like our little bubble.
When I was a night shift busboy at Denny’s, the busy time of night service started at 2 AM. That's when the bars in town closed and Denny’s was the only open gig in town. The people who came to Denny’s at 2 AM were not the same kind of people who would hang out with my mom and dad. It was great! A wide variety of “birds” showed up, people that I never would have met any other way. Yet, it is not the same to rub elbows with or serve one who is different as to develop friendships with those who are unlike us.
The ancient (and modern) Middle Eastern concept of eating and drinking has to do with friendship. You share a meal with friends, not acquaintances. You may perhaps become friends with new people if you weren’t before. An invitation to a meal is an offer to enter into someone’s world, and a willingness of the host to enter into the life of the guest. Eating a meal together is about friendship.
While this is easier to do with “birds of a feather,” it is scarier to do with those who are not like us. When Jesus in Matthew 25 presents the list of people we not care for, it's hard to not see the similarities we share with them. We of course also have needs, but the people Jesus helps are people such as the homeless or those imprisoned. These people are often pushed to the side by our society. Isn’t following these words of Jesus the true sign of Christian faith?
When Jesus sends the Seventy-Two, He tells them to “stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you.” He wants us to develop relationships. He desires for us to make friends. He urges us to build a family network. Don’t do drive by witnessing, but share the love of Jesus in the context of relationships. That means—make relationships.
The people that Father God leads to us are often those of a different feather. For the Seventy-Two, whoever invited them to dine, began as strangers and ended up as sisters and brothers. Jesus calls us to offer that hospitality to others, and not to limit it to people like us. Develop friendships with those who are different. Be willing to enter into the lives of strangers, so that as a relationship develops, sharing God’s love through Jesus has a good chance to stick and stay with them.
Ask God to lead you to new and different relationships in which you can share Christ.
Father God, as you send me to places and people, I trust you will lead me to people of your choosing, not mine. I relinquish my comfort and safety zone. Be my strength to join you in expanding the Kingdom of God through relationships. Amen.
INTERACT WITH OTHERS
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