We want to C.R.E.A.T.E. together

We don't want to just talk, we want to practice what we preach. This week's conversation was all about our third practice: eating together.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
— Matthew 9:10-13

There's something significant about eating together. That significance is highlighted in the passage above by the Pharisees' reaction to Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners! Why would they be upset if it wasn't meaningful?

It is fascinating to me how slow Jesus is to criticize the broken. Instead, he dines with them. He listens to them. He speaks with them. He breaks bread with them.

Applying Romans 12

This week at Campfire Church, we met indoors because of a rainy and cool evening. After we read and discussed the passage above, we began to dissect Romans 12, applying it to a scenario in which we are sharing a drink or a meal with another person.

Below is some of our commentary and application:

Romans 12:3 - For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 

No one wants to share a meal with a proud person. Be humble.
 
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
— Romans 12:3
 

Romans 12:4-8 - For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Listen to and look for the the strengths in the other person. Even if they are not a follower of Christ, try to identify the ways they are gifted and made in the image of God.

Romans 12:9-10 - Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

These verses become dangerous when separated. Together, they help us understand that in hating evil, we can still honor and be devoted to each other. Jesus was kind to the broken – so should we be.
In hating evil, we can still honor and be devoted to each other.

Romans 12:11-13 - Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

We all agreed that a passionate, authentic, faithful friend is who we want to sit across from us. We can be that friend to others

Romans 12:14-19 - Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 

Sitting down for a drink with someone who is a thorn in our lives can pave the way back to harmony. 
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
— Romans 12:14

Romans 12:20-21 -  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e] 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Again! with the food! We thought that this meant more than giving a bag a groceries. "Feed him" more likely meant to cook and share a meal.

We ended by starting to put what we are learning into practice. We made ice cream sundaes, divided into pairs, and proceeded to talk with each other – asking good questions, and praying with each other.

SMALL TWEAK FOR INCORPORATING "EAT" INTO YOUR LIFE

Instead of eating alone, ask yourself this key question: who can I eat with this week?

COMMUNITY PRACTICE

Have something to munch on or share a meal each time you get together with your community. Eat meals with people Jesus would eat with. Practice generous hospitality and invite people into your life. Around the table, gospel things happen. When eating with other Christ-followers: encourage one another, talk about your lives, share what God has been saying to you and what you've been doing about it.

Learn more at https://createchurch.org/practices.

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