For our Rooted in Relationships teaching series we focused on how Jesus taught that hospitality, especially to strangers and outcasts, is the basic Christian practice that brings us together to learn forgiveness, reconciliation, and love. In my own sermons on this topic, I shared with you my new favorite quote to illustrate this:
“When you have more than you need, build a bigger table, not a higher fence.”
In other words, throwing great parties is essential to the gospel!
Of course, as a church, we already do exactly that every week with the poorest in our neighborhood. And that is an amazing expression of God’s grace. But it’s time each of us learn to do this with each other, with our neighbors, with our co-workers, and especially with the strangers and outcasts in our own lives. It’s time for us to grow in our ability to be rooted in relationships of deeper grace and hospitality.
So between now and Easter, I’m challenging you to join with someone else in the church to organize a “Bigger Table” dinner in your community. Here’s how it works.
Each Bigger Table dinner should have the following:
- Good food! After all, it’s a party and all good parties have good food! It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, just a welcoming and comforting meal.
- Two households: You need one host to open their home and one co-host to help with all the tasks. Don’t do this alone! You’ll miss half the fun.
- Diverse guests: Invite anyone! Old friends and new, church friends and non-church friends, maybe even people from either side of the political aisle! Whoever you invite, the goal is to create a “bigger table” of grace for people who might not normally spend time together. So give it some thought.
- Inspiring Questions: All good parties also involve good conversation! Something thoughtful, inspiring, and vulnerable to get people to open up. For those who sign up, I’ve created a list of sample questions to get you thinking.
- A Clear Ending: Start on time and end on time. This is so important! As a guest, don’t overstay your welcome. As a host, send them home wanting to come back for more.
If you are up for this challenge, I’d love to hear from you! If you click below and sign up, I’ll send you a list of inspiring questions that are guaranteed to spark great conversation at your table.
Go to www.fccoceanside.org/biggertables to sign up.
I can’t wait to hear the stories that come from these dinners! Jenell and I will be hosting our Bigger Table dinner in the middle of March and I can’t wait to share with our story with you too. I really do believe God is going to use these parties to help us learn to be more rooted and fruitful as a church.