Disciples Dining Together

“Disciples Dining Together”

John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by he exclaimed, “Look! Here is the Lamb of God!” His two disciples heard him. They left and followed Jesus. John lost, lost two disciples. Puff! Gone! In the twinkling of an eye.
Poor John. Sometimes it’s better to keep one’s mouth shout! Or is it? What is our purpose? Is it to have lots of friends, flatterers, our own small identities, and wee little circles or cliques?

People like John see a bigger picture. They have a greater sense of the whole. They realize a higher power, purpose, and a coming cosmic shift.
”King consistently affirmed the somebodyness of all people regardless of race, class or other categories. Ultimately, these faith convictions undergirded his prophetic witness.” (C. Anthony Hunt) King’s bigger purpose and greater vision was this somebodyness of all people.

Sensing a higher power, purpose, and cosmic shift is a call away from the tedious mind numbing and distracting tasks of everyday smallness to a hard and long walk to freedom, to justice, to love!! How often do you get caught up in the minutia of the day? Things that even though you’ve spent hours doing really want matter tomorrow – now mind you many things need to be done, but where’s your focus? My home’s a mess more often than not, however I at least try to keep it clean and have a place where guests can at least sit down and feel comfortable.

Details – meetings – process – clutter – junk – expectations – and at the end of the day, I wonder, “What just happened?”

At the start of each day, I always take the time to remember – it’s about Jesus. Hey! Look! There he is!” It’s about power, purpose, and cosmic shift.
Hey look! It’s in the neighbour walking through the doors. In the cry of the child. In the music striking a chord in the heart. In the gentle snow falling that most we tend to lament. It’s walking that long road to freedom, to peace, to justice, to love!

My ministry is predicated on this – an open door, accessibility where interruptions are more important than schedules, timelines, and “to do” lists. And I have all of those, and I do accomplish some things. But more than that, I seek to live, to love, to laugh, to be!

Sarah Falconer went to Malawi with three tasks to accomplish. No problem. A few months and the task would be over. Really, no problem. Well, a year and a half passed, it took that long. It’s more about relationships, building community, and growing trust.

Jesus calls us to relationships – to a greater community – the very reign of God where children are welcomed and not hindered, where all find a place called home and where all are loved without judgment, and all are accepted. Period. God’s gift to a broken world. And oh how we are able to embrace, receive, and wrap that gift in human flesh and give it away!

There is something bigger! Look! Behold! See! These are words of the Bible that call us to new realities and to abundant and eternal life.
Then there was Philip who told Nathanael, “Come and See!” Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Instead of countering or arguing, Jesus said of Nathanael, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” Now all of you astute Bible scholars would understand this reference – right!?

It’s a reference to Jacob (also known as Israel) who deceitfully stole his brother Esau’s birthright by tricking his old, sick, and blind father. Jacob was all about himself. He cared nothing for others. His purpose was to succeed and take whatever he could. He lied. Broke the commandments because he didn’t believe in something greater – something more. Here’s Nathanael. The gift to be, to live, to come alive is free. The birthright is given. No deceit needed. We are all Children of God – that “somebodyness” who is loved and who has deep, deep, purpose.  We often are trapped in the minutia of life – trends, fashions, deadlines, self-importance, and greed. But…
But…there is this “We have found Jesus.” “Come and See!”

We are now disciples dining at the table. Jesus is our host. Come and See! See your sisters and brothers! See who is not here. Feel in your heart a new hunger and longing. Come disciples and dine! Eating brings us together. Hungry for food. Hungry for companionship. Hungry for meaning.

Strangers gather often in this place coming for food. Strangers are becoming friends and neighbours. Strangers are building networks and finding hope as they meet and gather around tables laden with food.

Two very young women who were recently baptized here walked through the parking lot one day not too long ago, noticed my car, and came in for a delightful visit. They expressed their care and appreciation for me, Deer Park, Naked Faith, and so much more. I was moved and humbled. These two have become disciples with a desire to help others. Here and in the varied ministries these two have dined and feasted both literally and figuratively.

Here is a “Thank You” we received:
My family and I just wanted to say thank you to “Santa’s elves” as my kids came to call the generous people who gave us a Christmas! We are so blessed by the generosity of those in the community.
I am usually the one on the giving side and to be in the receiving side is never easy.
I hope you can let everyone know how much we were touched and blessed by their Christ like actions.
Thank you as well for everything you have done to help us in our time of need.
I hope you had a great Christmas season.

We are called. Always! Come! See! Behold! Come to the table! Come! See! Behold! We are one. We are strong. We are Coming Alive! We follow the way of Jesus! Come! For like Philip and Nathanael, you are found! Come, disciples and dine together!

About the Author
Although Tom was born and raised an American, his life experience and faith journey have brought him to our congregation. His social justice background, deep empathy and sense of humor have combined to give him the depth to lead this flock in south Calgary. He can be totally at home leading us in prayer or in a rousing shout of “Yahoo!”

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