This summer we began a new practice - using the 5th Sunday of the month to go OUT.
Since this is a 5th Sunday, we are SENT OUT...to our tables. Jesus spends a considerable amount of time around tables - eating and enjoying community.
BUT, for Jesus, it was an opportunity to engage in spiritual conversations. An opportunity to listen well and be present with others. Like Jesus, we are sent to our tables (we're there anyway).
This is an opportunity to practice the way of Jesus - listen well and be present with those around the table. To aid you, we've prepared a resource for your whole family which includes conversation starters and prayers.
We hope it is a blessing to you as you are SENT to your tables.
Encouragement is an open-handed giving of ourselves to provide courage for others. As followers of Christ, we are NOT called to a life which is safe or easy. Because that's true, we NEED other believers who can “pour in courage” to us to step out in faith, no matter the circumstances. Paul reminds us that to reflect Christ will require that we encourage one another and build one another up.
Confession is, in many ways, a posture of open-handedness; the invitation for God to see who we really are. Just like an invitation to our house - where there is dust on the furniture, toys on the floor and dishes in the sink. Prayer too, in an open-handed posture both receiving and giving a conversation with our Heavenly Father. James reminds us that to reflect Christ will require confessing our sins to one another AND praying for one another.
Hospitality is the practice of living open-handed with your life: time, gifts, and resources. Hospitality has been a key behavior in the life of God followers since the time of Abraham. In fact, hospitality is so ingrained in the lives of God's followers it extended NOT only to those we know, but to strangers, widows and orphans. To the lost and the broken, to hobos and harlots, to friends and enemies. Peter reminds us that to reflect Christ will require showing hospitality to one another.
How many of us are entering into the voting booth with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. IF social media is an indicator...not many of us. Perhaps the way to be understood, to be heard, is to first have your heart postured by God’s Spirit. What would happen if we led with fruit and became fruitarian?