We’ve been sitting here for TWO hours trying to do these sermon notes… that’s because we’ve been busy putting the sermon into practise instead! Because the speaker did mention the importance of meals being a place of gathering–a time when you get together and get to know people better… even your own family! (Think of the importance of families sitting down together to a meal.) The Mom sat down to lunch, and the conversations going on with The Student and The Dad all afternoon have been… really quite wonderful. Because they’re making exciting summer vacation plans, for one thing; and talking about having the Sweet Girl over, and about meeting people at our church’s Easter Breakfast, and about new things underway for our church, etc. etc.!! OK, now on to the sermon notes, FINALLY!
It was Carol’s turn to speak this morning, continuing on the theme of "Eating is Believing: At Table With the Lord". She started by talking about hospitality, which in the middle eastern culture has been important since time immemorial–even religiously important. You know about the spiritual significance when you think of the Judaic Law and all the "Feasts" that God commanded. Feasts/food is something we know well, so it makes a great demonstration lesson–it helps us remember well what we’re supposed to learn. Carol also pointed out that Jesus loved to party–He was always being invited to dinner, and of course He ate with all kinds of people–notorious sinners and Pharisees alike. (The disciples must have had to really put aside their scruples sometimes!)
A main point that Carol had, was something that SEEMS a little radical at first: she mentioned that we’re always talking about going out "into the hiways and biways" [our term] and inviting people IN (to the church)–but Jesus never did that! He simply met people where they were. In like manner, we need to minister to people where they are; which does NOT mean (unless it’s your gift) speaking to them about Christ; but it does mean getting to know them ("listening to them" is what Carol said)… and then being ready when they ask about your faith. Of course, that’s actually a truth we’ve heard often before–that you have to get to know someone before you can share God with them.
Walk to Rivendell: On this 13th day of travel (Oct. 5), we’ve gone 18 miles, for a total of 229.