Instead of ‘adding’ a bunch of missional actions to your life, why not look at things you are already doing and transforming them. I think its amazing that God has given us a daily reminder that we need something outside of us to meet a hunger and need. We get to celebrate that God that provides in a way that not only meets physical hunger, but spiritual hunger. How does Eating become a Rhythm for missional living? Let’s look at it through this Soma School breakdown:
We regularly eat meals with others to invite them into Gospel Community
Meals are a daily reminder of our common need for God and his faithfulness to provide both physically and spiritually. Jesus called us to remember him and his sacrifice for us through a meal. When we eat together, we commune around this truth. We regularly eat meals with those not in our immediate family or circle of close friends, discipling them toward a life of dependence on God. (Leviticus 23; Matthew 6:11; 26:17-30; Acts 2:46-47; Romans 12:13)
In every part of the world hunger is a daily reality – whether they have plenty or lack – we all get hungry more than once a day. God gave Adam and Eve the opportunity to demonstrate their faith through the eating of food. They choose to eat unto themselves out of unbelief and rebellion. God has likewise given every person in every part of the world a regular reminder of their need and an opportunity to eat unto themselves in unbelief and rebellion or unto God in faith and with thanksgiving.
So what does this mean for our three values: Upward (me and God), Inward (me and God’s people), Outward (me and kingdom reconciliation)
Whatever we do, whether we eat or drink, we do it unto God. Every meal really is a demonstration of the gospel. We come hungry (a real need) and our need is graciously met (Whatever we have is from God). Since we eat three times a day, we get a gospel reminder over and over again IF we eat unto God. It’s interesting that throughout the Story, food continues to be the prime example of God’s provision meeting their need. And in every case, they ate unto God or unto themselves.
- How might you eat differently if your eating was informed by the Gospel and unto God in faith?
When we eat together we commune over our common need and God’s provision. In doing this we proclaim the gospel to each other over and over again. That is why it is so important to eat together regularly – a loving community of believers communing around the work of Christ is the best apologetic of the gospel AND eating together is one of the ways we are commanded to do this.
- Consider how you might ‘preach’ the gospel to each other through our ‘common’ meal – The Lord’s
The table for the Jews, as also in our day, is very symbolic AND communicative – who we eat demonstrates who we love. This is why Jesus was called a friend of sinners – he ate with people who were dirty, unreligious, and visibly or sociably unacceptable. The table is one of the most powerful displays of God’s love and acceptance of sinners.
- How often do we eat with those who don’t believe what we do?
- How should you and your community shape its life around communing at the table with unbelievers?