Tomorrow, most of us will take a seat around our table, filled with family and friends. We may spend longer than usual talking about the cranberries, the weather, or the game — because we all know at any moment, the trending topics of social media could make their way into the social gathering. This sort of fear doesn’t line up with the gospel we believe.
Of all the people sitting at the table with you tomorrow — you should be able to say, with Paul: “I am the worst sinner at this table I know, but God has showed me mercy.”
Here’s something every follower of Jesus needs to recognize: Jesus loved sharing meals with people different from him. Sitting at the table tomorrow, you are as close to the way Jesus lived his life as you were sitting in church on Sunday. Jesus got his reputation as a “friend of sinners” because he chose to break bread with people.
Sitting at the table tomorrow, you are as close to the way Jesus lived his life, as you were sitting in church on Sunday.
Jesus choses to eat with you, a sinner. (Revelation 3:20) Of all the people sitting at the table with you tomorrow — you should be able to say, with Paul: “I am the worst sinner at this table I know, but God has showed me mercy.” (1 Timothy 1:15) This truth evaporates fear and cultivates the sort of thankfulness that makes the gospel attractive.
Here are 3 ways you can be Jesus at your table tomorrow.
We follow each other on Facebook, but we don’t really know what’s going on — lets not kid ourselves! Jesus loved asking questions, and yet he knew everything there was to know about man. (John 2:25) Your family and friends are facing things you may not know about— listening and asking questions is an act of love.
Tell the story of your year from God’s perspective.
Don’t leave God out of “How was your year?” — share the good and the bad, share the hard things, share the unresolved things, share the answered prayers. Say, “let me tell you what God did”, trace the glimmers of God’s grace and the moments where God proved his sovereignty to you. Even if its received as fanciful or wishful, God has been at work in your life. Witness to the power of the gospel.
Speak well of Jesus’ kingdom.
I firmly believe that God cares about the news cycle, about everything in our world — after all, it’s his Word that is holding the atoms in your body together. (Hebrews 1:3) In our culture, division is rampant but discontentment is universal. When family or friends express thoughts on politics, on your life decisions, on tough social issues — don’t run, don’t parrot CNN or Fox News, instead, answer as a citizen of Jesus’ Kingdom. Show the heart of our King for truth, justice, and mercy & grace.
Lovingly, put a pebble in the shoe of those who doubt the goodness of God. Lovingly, build bridges instead of burning them (Christmas dinner is coming). Remember we can win an argument and forfeit our love.