Then He turned to the host. ‘The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be — and experience — a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned — oh, how it will be returned! — at the resurrection of God’s people.” — Luke 14:12-14 The Message
Did you know that one of the most practical places we can share the love of God is right from our very own common dining room table? If we look at Jesus’ life here on earth, we’ll see that He wasn’t going around starting organizations or throwing big events – He was pulling out a chair at the table of common people.
When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. ‘Zacchaeus!’ He said. ‘Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.’ — Luke 19:5 NLT
Perhaps before we invite the lost, hurting, broken souls around us to church, we start with inviting them to our tables? If we look at who Jesus ate meals with, we’ll see that he didn’t go to meals with the church people or the “have it altogether” tribe. He went to the hurting and the shamed. When Jesus entered homes, the brokenhearted were comforted and the shamed were cloaked in grace. Maybe one of the most powerful and consistent ways we can share the irresistible love of Jesus is by throwing open our doors and inviting the world to our table for a meal.
This practice of inviting the lost to our tables and showing great hospitality to a hurting world enables us to pierce the darkness right from our homes. Jesus will call some people to move overseas, to go on mission trips, or to leave everything behind. But maybe for the majority of us He is calling us to show up to our tables? With a meager meal as an offering and an invitation to come and see what the Lord has done for us. Do not miss this amazing call God has for us.
People will know us by our love for God and our love for others.
We must press into becoming a hospitable people. God did not complicate this for us.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. — Mark 12:30-31 ESV
Hospitality translated from the Greek means “love of strangers.” God’s economy scarcely runs without strong enticement for us to show great generosity to the stranger, the outsider, and the marginalized.
’For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ — Matthew 25:35-36 ESV (emphasis mine).
Do not get caught up on fancy meals or a perfectly cleaned home. God wants us to show hospitality and to invite others in exactly where He has us. The food does not have to be extravagant because the people you gather at your table already are. We have lost the beauty and power of hospitality if we believe it is our clean homes or our picture-perfect families that are the star of the show. We do not invite people over to enjoy us. We invite people over so we can enjoy them. To love them so thoroughly right from our very own tables so that they will one day ask us what is this love that is so vibrant within us?
This is how we accomplish the Great Commission day by day right where God has us. We do not have to complicate it.
We can simply open our doors and invite our neighbors with great compassion, “Come and eat.”
Who do you have at your table now? Is it mostly people who look or think or act like you? The next time you invite people over, take Jesus up on His request – invite the outcast, the hurting, the lonely.
One day we will gather at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. May we strive to have our tables here on earth look like a hint of what that great feast will look like – with a gathering of all nations and tribes.
And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ — Revelation 19:9 ESV
Want to start today? We made this quiz for you: Who Should You Invite to Dinner? https://www.qzzr.com/c/quiz/435172/who-should-you-invite-to-dinner Take it and resolve to invite to your table this week whoever you get! It is one small step toward pursuing a life of vibrant hospitality the way Jesus intended.
Original blog by Bri McKoy for FaithGateway.
Author Bri McKoy personally invites you to come and eat!
* * *
Who can you invite to “come and eat”? Your house doesn’t have to be perfect. The meal or coffee and treats don’t have to be fancy. Just be good company. Laugh and enjoy your guests. Come and share who you’re inviting over on our blog. We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily