This is the third in a 5-part series which takes on the very serious question: how do we Bless people practically? If we are supposed to be carrying out the vision of Grafted, “Honor God by helping as many people as possible become fully committed members in Christ’s Forever Family,” by using our mission, “Bless, Belong, Believe, and Bloom,” how are we supposed to do that first step, Bless? Dave Ferguson at the Verge Network asked that same question for his church’s missional communities (their version of small groups) and came up with a 5-point answer which changes “Bless” into an acronym:
- Begin with prayer,
- Service, and
Each of these 5 posts is going to take one of these ideas and give a bit of a biblical background to the idea and practical ideas for how to do it in real life. On to week 3: Eat.
There is something about eating a meal together that is so much more than consuming nutrients that sustain us. Martha had to learn this truth from Jesus:
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42
The food is important at a meal… but the conversation and paying attention to each other is of upmost importance.
When we want to BLESS other people, after we have asked the King of the Universe to guide us and after we have shown that we are willing to be a listening ear, inviting people to join you in a meal where you not only provide for their physical needs, but also for their relational and emotional needs, is a way to start to care for other’s spiritual needs.
Fair warning: when you start eating with people in this way, your relationships are going to become so much deeper that it might get a little scary. Do so only at your own risk.
There are two main groups with whom my family and I regularly do this: our small group and our neighbors. We do so with the first in order to grow our relationships so that as we challenge and encourage each other’s beliefs, we already have a deep relationships upon which to draw in order to know that the other people have our best interests in mind. Come to think of it… that is why we eat with the neighbors, too!
Well, I’m off to get ready for a neighborhood cookout right now! When are you going to have yours?