Meals and ministry


glorious food

it is a way of bringing people together, as we are tonight

talking to one another,

passing the nibbles, serving the food

listening to stories

hopes, dreams, desires

Even in our part of the world, which seems so removed from first century Palestine, meals are shared together at times of celebrations.

Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baptisms, funerals

Shared together

sharing pain and sorrow

sharing hope and future

sharing dreams and aspiration

sharing vision and grace

sharing and knowing love

in meals together

Even most families who rarely eat together will do at the great celebrations of the western year

Christmas and Easter.

And here we are, on the cusp of the celebration of the glorious resurrection of Easter

drawn together at a meal

Some of us will only share a meal together this one evening of the year

for this is the night we remember Jesus’ arrest

this is the night when Judas betrayed him

this is the night when Peter denied him

Jesus knew it was coming

his arrest, his death

but he still met with the disciples in that upper room and shared a meal with them

The meal that night was passover, the most significant meal in the Jewish calender, when the remembered their salvation by God

It was not the only meal of significance Jesus had been part

meals were everywhere

yes, we all need to eat, even the Son of God needed to eat

but meals took on a new significance with Jesus around

the wedding at Canna, a great celebration of love and family

but the wine was running out

and Jesus was there, turning water into wine

lots of very good wine

the best of wine

for the guests at the wedding

a sign of the kingdom of God

Or what about the time a crowd followed Jesus around the lake to hear him preach. It was getting late and there was a small boy who had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish

barely enough to feed a man, never mind the 5000 men, plus women and children who had gathered

But with Jesus’ blessing and breaking of bread

bellies were filled and the leftovers were much, much more than they began with

a sign of the kingdom of God

Then, 6 days before the Passover, at a meal in Lazarus’ house, his sister Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume

in preparation for his burial

a sign of the kingdom of God

And at the last meal Jesus had before his crucifixion

at the Passover meal with his disciples

Jesus washed their feet

a job for the lowliest servant in a household, done by their Lord and Master, by our Lord and Master

A sign of the kingdom of God