Interesting things can happen when people eat and drink together.
Some of the most memorable stories left to us in the gospels from the life, death and resurrection of Jesus happen when food and drink are being shared. A woman anoints Jesus with her tears when he is at table. A life-changing conversation with Zachaeus takes place in the context of hospitality. Jesus bids farewell to his followers in the setting of a shared meal. The disciples at Emmaus recognise Jesus in the breaking and blessing of bread. And an early morning breakfast on the beach is hosted by the same risen Christ.
Interesting things can happen when people eat and drink together. Our common humanity becomes more apparent. Differences diminish. Neighbours and strangers find a place of belonging. Community can deepen. So if we are interested in starting or sustaining a new project-community in the way of Jesus it is worth imagining the place of eating and/or drinking together.
Any pattern of eating and drinking needs to be true to our setting and reflect our culture. An example from experience: from the start of its life the community of which I have been part for 5 years has centred its life on a simple community meal in someone's home each week. And each weekend the eucharist is followed by a visit to cafe or pub. The community's life and mission happen in the context of food and drink, in ways that fit the city setting and the life-patterns of the people.
Inspired by the practise of Jesus, what might be the place of shared eating and/or drinking in your community?
Friday, October 09, 2009
ways into small missional community  eating, drinking together
Here's my latest post re creating community: