Ephesians 5: 15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Luke 22: 13-20
So they prepared the Passover. When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.’
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
This week leading up to Easter, traditionally known as ‘Holy Week’, we are thinking about what it means to ‘share our world’ with those we interact with on a daily basis. We will look at how, in His last days before He endured the cross, Jesus shared His world with those around Him.
Today we see Him sharing a traditional Jewish meal, the Passover, with the twelve disciples on the night before He was arrested. This was an annual commemoration of God’s deliverance of His people from Egyptian slavery and oppression centuries before. Jesus infused its elements with new meaning, as He would Himself become the sacrificial lamb who would atone for the sins, not just of Israel, but of every person throughout human history. He would set us free from our past and liberate us into new life with God.
Sharing a meal is a great way of connecting with others. There’s something about sitting around a table, enjoying good food, that deepens conversation and bonds friendships. It could be simply having lunch with a work colleague or inviting your neighbours over for dinner. As you welcome them into your world, it’s natural that they ask questions about all aspects of your life. Of course you don’t have to preach or give a four point evangelistic appeal! However, as Jesus is central to all that you are, He will naturally become part of the conversation along with family, sports, work and other aspects of your life.
We see this way of connecting with people throughout the life of Jesus. He was falsely accused of being a ‘glutton and drunkard’ because He spent so much time socialising with those deemed religious outsiders. (Lk 7: 34) Here’s a few examples:
“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.” (Matt 9: 10)
“When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” (Lk 19: 5)
In Jesus’ culture, to have a meal with someone indicated more than simply wanting to share food, it was a sign of social acceptance, a way of saying, “I want to share my world with you.” While it may not be so explicitly significant in our culture, there is still something about having food with others that makes the conversation more relaxed and expresses a sincerity in your desire to have a real relationship with them.
As you think about who you will share your world with this week, consider one or two people that you will perhaps invite for lunch, dinner or even an afternoon cuppa. Make the most of every opportunity to connect with those who may not hear the wonderful story of Easter from anyone else.