You are who you eat with – A Lent teaching from Jon Owen

27th March 2019

This Lent, Common Grace and Bible Society Australia invite us to rediscover Jesus’s profound teachings veiled in everyday stories. As we come together, we’re praying for ears to hear these teachings of Jesus afresh, to let them get past our defences and under our skin, as they transform us to make things right in this world.

You are who you eat with.

“I am who I am because of who we all are”. Who do you invite to be part of your world? Who do you let change you?

In today’s video teaching, Jon Owen reflects on the parable of the Great Feast. This story challenges us to consider who we invite to our table: is it the people we know, or is it those on the outer, those we may not feel entirely comfortable in knowing how to love?

Foodie culture seems to be part of mainstream Australia at the moment, with stylized cooking shows on our TV screens. Far more important than the food we put on our table, however, are the people we invite to join us there. Sharing a meal is a powerful way to share life. In order to genuinely share life with people, we need to cultivate an attitude of respect and welcome. Throughout Jesus’ teachings, he repeatedly challenges us to encounter the person on the “outer” with respect and care, valuing them as equals and as people worthy of our service and sacrifice. As we respect and care for those who don’t usually feature in our lives, we learn more of the heart of God and are changed to reflect his image.

Inviting new people to our tables can feel risky. Various messages of judgement against those on the outer may cause us to question whether genuinely displaying this kind of respect and love for them is warranted. The teachings of Jesus, however, invite us to value those on the outer. Jesus encourages us not to fear: in loving others as we have been loved, we experience the abundance of a banquet in the Kingdom of God.

This series has been produced by Common Grace and Bible Society Australia.

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