As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Matthew 9:9-13
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. John 12:1-2
All of us have a clean slate for living as we move into a new year. All of us have an opportunity to fill the days ahead with what we choose. Maybe we will make this a new year of seeking to share God’s love as we eat and drink at table with God’s children.
In Matthew chapter 9 and John chapter 12 we have just a couple of the many gospel references to Jesus eating and drinking with people. He ate with his disciples. He ate with their friends. He ate with people who some didn’t consider worthy of his presence and attention. He even ate with people that were his enemies.
One thing that impresses me in the life of Jesus is how he took time for table fellowship. He knew that something happens when you share a meal with someone.
In this new year, maybe you will follow in the footsteps of Jesus by spending time at table, sharing a meal and all that comes with that conversation, with a variety of God’s children.
Lord of all, help me to enjoy the people that you place in my path each and every day this year, as I spend some time with them in Jesus’ name. Amen.