I believe in sharing food – I am even willing to get arrested for it. As I have been reading closely Luke 10.1-12, I have become more and more convinced that our calling in this city is to be the townspeople that welcome those whom God has sent. This notion that we are to welcome people and share food with them is radical, for we live in a culture of scarcity, and this action is one that is of exuberant abundance.
In Luke 10.1-12 – we see that the townspeople welcome the disciples as people of peace – and then in verse 7 Jesus instructs to “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid.” This welcome we are called to extend to those who are coming to our city is to be a welcome that involves table fellowship. It involves the sitting down and enjoying one another over a bowl of soup, a cup of coffee, and a juicy hamburger. It involves pausing and allowing the nourishment to be enjoyed and the conversation to flourish. It involves us allowing food to be a vehicle of welcome and not something we horde for ourselves. Because this food is “our daily bread”. It is not my daily bread – or your daily bread – but it is our daily bread. For in this pronouncement we can notice that this is a communal meal – for it is a meal of welcome and not a meal of isolation.
Continuing to verse 8 Jesus says: “Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you.” Part of what it means to be the townspeople of peace is to be a townspeople that share food. You can see that the disciples are instructed to sense whether the townspeople share in peace – and if they share in peace you can see that in the sharing of food. Notice at the beginning of v8 – as townspeople we are called to set food down before the people Christ has instructed to be with us. And in that action of peace, the Kingdom of God has come near. This is something otherworldly. It is something almost magical. It is something that is beyond words to describe. It is bread and forks and plates and napkins and a wooden table. It is a mystical encounter with God. It is God in the flesh dwelling amongst us. It is laughter and joke telling. It is crying and hugging. It is vulnerability and safety. It is uncomfortable and inviting.
John Wesley is quoted as saying: “Let all these smaller points stand aside. Let them never come into sight. ‘If your heart is as my heart,’ if you love God and all mankind, I ask no more: ‘give me your hand.’” Today, give me your hand – and take bread – a bread that we share. Today, take this cup – a cup that we share. We are making a choice today my sisters and brothers, a choice to be the people of peace – the townspeople that share in a radically provocative way. A way that exudes that our God reigns and rules at this table where there is a seat for all. For we are all beggars asking God to give us this day OUR daily bread.