American pastor John Frye writes that Jesus didn’t simply give people good ideas, he ate with them, and that was part of the shock of what he did: he ate with sinners. His meal times were what Frye calls ‘provocative theatre’.
Which raises the question, how do we use food and meal times in mission today? The Australian church community smallboatbigsea is known for its members’ adherence to a rhythm of life known as ‘BELLS’:
Bless – bless at least three people this week, one or more Christians and one or more non-Christians.
Eat – share table fellowship at least three times this week, once or more with Christians and once or more with non-Christians.
Listen – spend at least one hour a week in contemplative prayer.
Learn – (1)read and re-read the Gospels; (2) read another biblical book; (3) read another good book, whether or not it is Christian.
Sent – see yourself as sent by God into every part of life. Write down and reflect on your experiences in a journal.
Could we use food with more deliberate intent in the cause of mission?