The Landing - September 16, 2022

It’s “Culinary Weekend” in Carlton Landing, and that’s got me thinking about the power of meals, tables, and conversations over great food. Though it might seem like a stretch to get from there to the gospels, we often forget how much time people in Jesus’s day spent eating together. 

You could almost tell the story of Jesus’s life as a series of tables. He’s celebrating at a wedding in Cana, eating with tax collectors and Pharisees, talking with the disciples, and going to lunch at Zacchaeus’s house. Jesus had some of his most important conversations around the table. Of course, they didn’t have many restaurants in Galilee in the first century, so they ate at each other’s houses. Hosts would throw dinner parties and invite the whole town. Several times in the gospels, God is portrayed as a host inviting everyone to dine at his table. 

One characteristic of God that sets him apart from the other deities in other religions is his hospitality. Other gods demand from their people, but ours serves. When the disciples came together for their “Last Supper” it was Jesus, not the servants, who washed their feet. In fact, at nearly every meal Jesus went to, he became the host. 

Last fall, I preached about the story of Jesus dining at Simon the Pharisee’s house in Luke 7:36-50. It would have been a lavish affair. Jesus was an honored guest. But in the middle of the meal, a woman entered the room. This was not a woman like the others who were undoubtedly present. This was a “woman of the city,” Luke puts it delicately. She was unexpected, uninvited, and unclean, but she brought a bottle of ointment over to Jesus and began to wash Jesus’s feet.

Simon and his guests were horrified, but Jesus began to speak. Reading Simon’s thoughts and looking at the woman, Jesus said, “her sins, which were many, are forgiven - for she loved much.” The one who is forgiven much loves much. The one who grasps all that God gave himself for us gives themself for others. 

That day, Simon’s table was an instrument of forgiveness. That evening, everyone reclining around the table saw the love of God on display. In that moment, Jesus taught every one of us a lesson in hospitality. Our tables are a tool for blessing. Jesus can host at our tables as well. 

There’s so much more to say, but here’s the takeaway: take a moment and think about the gift of your table and your home. God has given you an opportunity for joy and blessing in the center of your home. Let him host you there. Then turn around and put his hospitality on display. Have great food, have a great time, point to him, and show the world his love. Ask God for an opportunity to bless. He’ll always answer that prayer!

In Christ,
Pastor Cole
Sunday, October 9 at 1pm - Newcomer Dessert at the Feix House
If you’re new to the church, have questions, or just want to meet more people, join us for dessert at 1pm at Cole and Laura’s house in the Borough. 

Tuesdays starting October 4 from 3:30-4:45pm - Elementary and Middle Schoolers 
Starting on Tuesday afternoons this fall, head to Cole and Laura’s house for a snack, game, and Bible story. If you’re in 1st grade or older, start a fun new after-school tradition! Parents are welcome to stay or drop off and pick up. 

Wednesday, September 21 at 7pm - Small Group Bible Study

If you’re in town on Wednesday evening, join us for a small group Bible study. There is no better way to get to know others than through studying the Bible, discussing, and praying for one another. For the location, text (‪847-643-1089‬) or email ( Jess Smuk. 

Coming Up: 
Ephesians Series
What did Paul pray for? I’ve always been intrigued by Paul’s prayers in the New Testament. At points they sound similar to ours, making requests for the sick, travel mercies, and opportunities to share the gospel. But at other points, they don’t sound anything like what we usually pray for. This week’s text is an example of a prayer we can learn so much from. In 1:15-23, Paul prays that the Christians in Ephesus and across the world would have the “eyes of their hearts enlightened” so that they can see the greatness of the power of God working in them. Now that’s a prayer we should all be praying!

  • Sept. 18 - Paul’s Prayer of Power - Ephesians 1:15-23
  • Sept. 25 - But God - Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Oct. 2 - He Is Our Peace - Ephesians 2:11-22
  • Oct. 9 - To Him Who Is Able - Ephesians 3:1-21
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