In the South, many of us, including those inside the Church, have been so desensitized to the Gospel that we sometimes forget what it looks like in action. People won’t shy away from you if you pray at a meal, say amen, or even say Jesus’ name, but beyond that the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, the message that Christ came to radically change and transform our lives makes people more and more uncomfortable. People are more likely to say no to coffee, turn the other way, or try to avoid long chats if they think you are coming to preach to them. People skirting the Gospel is nothing new, we know that Jesus himself faced anger and antagonism in his culture. But how did he overcome that?
One meal at a time. In story after story, we read of Jesus eating and drinking with the lost. In doing so, he set a timeless practice into motion.
This practice is what the New Testament writers go on to call “hospitality.” And while the practice of hospitality is directed at those inside and outside the church, the Greek word literally means “the love of a guest.” Hospitality is expressing the welcome of God the Father to all through tangible acts of love, ideally through giving food, shelter, and relationship.
Our Practice over the next several weeks is incredibly simple: follow Jesus’ example of eating and drinking with somebody who has yet to experience the Father’s welcome. And the beauty of this Practice is that anybody can do it. All it takes is a table.
DEBRIEF & DISCUSSION
1. Did you listen to the sermon? What were your thoughts?
2. Use the questions from the sermon for discussion. These questions will be posted on Instagram under this week’s Sermon Notes. You can also find this weeks sermon notes and questions here.
DISCUSSION QUESTION REGARDING PRACTICES (see practices below)
1. What are some thoughts or creative ideas about this coming week’s Practice?
2. Have you ever been uncomfortable when invited into someone else’s space? What are some hosting pitfalls to avoid?
3. What are some experiences where you felt truly welcome in someone else’s home? Talk as a group about what it looks like to host well?
4. Discuss some ways you can demonstrate Jesus’ love and care for your guests?
5. Is there anybody in your life who immediately comes to mind that you want to share a meal with?
PRACTICES FOR THE COMING WEEK
Exercise #1: Pray, Consider, Invite.
● If you can, get somewhere quiet for this one.
● Prayer Take a few minutes to invite the Holy Spirit lead and guide your give shape to your imagination.
● Consider who in your life you could make space for around your table.
● Invite: Don’t stop here – make some plans and get it on the calendar!
Exercise #2: Share a Meal with Somebody Outside of the Church
(over the course of the next two weeks).
● Before the meal: Life is busy but don’t miss this. Make space for you/your family to pray for your guests before they arrive – that God would use this time and your relationship as a stepping stone in their relationship with Him.
● Eat and drink with somebody!
● Ideally, open your home or apartment. If that doesn’t work, invite them to a third space (a restaurant, café, etc.)
● This could be a great time to learn how to cook a few good meals. A quick search of the internet will yield loads of easy-to-prepare, super delicious meals.
● You don’t have to force anything, but consider your discussion with you MC and the ways to host well and demonstrate the hospitality of Jesus.
● Make some plans to hang out again.