The meal: time of hospitality and love
When I was younger I remember that my parents enjoyed to invite friends to eat at home. As a result, during the weekend, the house was full. Their friends were present, but sometimes also the friends of their friends that we did not know and who have not even been invited. Instead of sending them back, my parents used to say that when there is enough to eat for one there is enough for more. Which means that the less they had planned would certainly be enough for everyone. They had faith and would never have considered sending their guests back. And I guarantee you that despite unexpected guests the food has never run out. My parents were keen to please everyone and share the hospitality and love with all their guests.
As a result, my mother, who is a true «cordon bleu» and who loves to cook, was happy to prepare wonderful meals while my father boasted of his wife’s good cooking. To be honest, my parents were just happy to welcome everyone, and to create new links, to the delight of our guests. I was also happy when the guests came with their children. Everyone had a moment of joy and good humor.
This is how Jesus shared his meal with 5000 people when he initially had only 5 loaves and two fish. When his disciples asked him to send the crowd away because the food was running out, Jesus did not agree. Beyond all, Jesus knew his father and knew that through him, he was able to realize the impossible.
” When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.” Matthew 14: 15-21 (NKJV)
Jesus did not just feed the crowd, but previous verses tell us that Jesus had just learned of the death of his beloved cousin John the Baptist and when he was trying to set himself apart, the crowd began to follow him. Yet, the scripture reveals to us that Jesus felt compassion for the crowd and began to heal them. He, who had just lost his loved one, left his sorrow and prefer to show love towards the weak, the forgotten of society. He put aside his own feelings to help those in need. He walked by the Spirit and not by the flesh.
“Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Matthew 14: 12-14 (NKJV)
How many times today have you looked away from the people around you who are in need? Those people who needed your compassion, the love of Christ, who needed money to eat.
Your inner Spirit said “Help them”, and you said to yourself, “I have my problems, I have no money, I’m not in the mood”. However that person beggar who is sat in the cold, has really nothing to eat.
Let’s be like Jesus, have faith and walk by the Spirit, not by the flesh.
” For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. ” Romans 8: 13-14 (NKJV)
There is a time for everything as the book of Ecclesiastes tells us, a time to celebrate and eat, but also a time to fast and seek the face of the Lord. Let the Holy Spirit guide you for each time.
The meal is a moment of communion, a moment of fellowship between those who share it. Enjoy the celebration around the meal to share the love and gospel of Jesus Christ. At this time of celebration, I challenge you to be compassionate and invite someone you know, who is alone, to your Christmas dinner.
Stay blessed 🙂
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