Church of England Diocese of Leicester Burbage with Aston Flamville

Thought for the day - Wednesday 13th May

14 May 2020, 9 a.m.

Wednesday 13th May 2020, Station 12: Jesus appears at the lakeside

You can almost image the scene as the apostle John tells it. Just as the sun is coming up the mist is clearing. Jesus had just instructed them to cast their nets and they are now full and heavy with fish that are big and plump. They see that really welcoming figure of Jesus by the warm fire with the aroma of fish cooking on it and bread by the side. How welcoming must that have been for those men who were hungry and yet glad to see their friend Jesus again. No longer dead but alive and eating with them like old times.

Jesus spent a lot of His time on earth eating and drinking. For Jesus, it was important to gather people around the table and at that table both discipleship and evangelism took place. We see countless examples of Jesus eating with people throughout the Gospels particularly in the Gospel of Luke. For example, in Luke 5, Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners at home. In Luke 7, Jesus is anointed by a woman in the home of Simon the Pharisee during a meal. Then, in Luke 9, we see Jesus feeding the five thousand. There are also countless references to food throughout the Gospel, even when Jesus is not eating. During the last supper, Jesus uses the bread and wine, undertaking one of the most significant moments of His entire ministry. The meals Jesus shared with others were not only significant, but also life-changing. Here are five lessons we can learn from the meals Jesus shared.

During Jesus’ ministry on earth, everything was centred around meals. There was the wedding at Cana, a dinner with the reviled Zacchaeus and the Last Supper. Jesus was even criticized for eating with the tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 12:16). Eating together is one of the most important and practical means for overcoming any barrier that separates us. It is also an incredible way to share and fellowship. Whether you are bringing one person to your table or many, you can honour the gifts God has given you and love people the way Jesus loves them. It doesn’t matter if the meals are fancy, home-cooked or take-out. What matters is that they involve other people and that they connect us.

There is Power in Sharing a Meal

The act of eating meals plays a significant role in the gospels. It’s important to note that Jesus shared meals with all sorts of people. There are even scholars who refer to this trend as Jesus “eating His way through the gospels.” When Jesus shared meals with people, it gave him the opportunity to enter the lives of the people with whom He was eating. Many of the meals that Jesus is recorded eating in the gospels are also accompanied by times of teaching, healing or other miraculous work. In short, we see that there is power in the time that we share meals with others. We too have the power to use our eating time to connect and share with those around us, even though at the moment we are unable to share the physical food, we can still share that spiritual food of gathering with each other albeit through zoom.

We have the opportunity to not only feed the needy, but share in our eating with others. We live in a needy world and we should do everything we can to connect with others, especially those who are hungry and suffering. Galatians 6:10 says, “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Sharing is not only our priority, but also our ministry.

I think that it is amazing that even in this lockdown people are still willing to contribute food to the food bank, which helps families in need.

Come and have breakfast Jesus says. Jesus is inviting us to be refreshed, renewed and nourished in and through him. Come and sit and eat with him.

Let us Pray

Lord, the resurrection of Your Son

has given us new life and renewed hope.

Help us to live as new people in pursuit of the Christian ideal.

Grant us wisdom to know what we must do,

the will to want to do it, the courage to undertake it,

the perseverance to continue to do it, and the strength to complete it.

Amen.

Pauline Cummins