‘A Meal with Jesus’ by Tim Chester
I first came across Tim Chester last summer at the Keswick Convention, where Tim led a series of seminars on ‘everyday mission’. Tim is a Sheffield-based church planter with a passion for bringing mission back into the realm of ordinary day-to-day life, just as it was when Jesus went around people’s homes and shared meals and talked about life, faith and the Kingdom of God.
A Meal with Jesus reminds a forgetful church of Jesus’ rather simple approach to sharing the good news. Tim Chester works through Luke’s Gospel: looking at Luke 5, where Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners (‘Meals as Enacted Grace’); Luke 7, where Jesus is anointed at the home of Simon the Pharisee during a meal (‘Meals as Enacted Community’); Luke 9, where Jesus feeds the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish (‘Meals as Enacted Hope’); Luke 14, where Jesus is at a meal when he urges people to invite the poor to their meals rather than their friends (‘Meals as Enacted Mission’); Luke 22, where we have the last supper (‘Meals as Enacted Salvation’); and Luke 24, where the risen Christ eats with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus (‘Meals as Enacted Promise’).
We realise that in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal, for ‘The Son of Man has come eating and drinking’ (Luke 7:34).
The highlight of this book is that having persuaded us Biblically and theologically that hospitality and eating together are incredibly important, Tim doesn’t just leave us there. A Meal with Jesus gives easy practical examples and advice for how to share the Gospel as Jesus did and build Christian community.
If, like me, you long to see faith move from church buildings to people’s homes and neighbourhoods, this book is for you. It’s Biblical, prophetic, challenging, inspiring and practical. I wholeheartedly recommend it.