Saturday, 13 June 2009

Day 39

Just your average Saturday post:

One of the oldest virtues in the Way of Jesus is hospitality. The ancient children of God believed that by treating strangers as old friends, we are welcoming God into our lives.

When we invite the uninvited, Jesus shows up, not as one of the guests, but as the host.

Two friends were walking back to their hometown. They were down and out, they’ve hit rock bottom.

Their Friend was brutally murdered a few days before.

They were upset with themselves for not being there for him, with the rest of the gang for abandoning him, with the religious leaders for missing the point about Life and with the women for saying that their Friend isn’t dead after all.

They talked the whole way, trying to figure out what the hell happened. Suddenly, somewhere between depression and giving up, a Stranger joined them on their journey, asking questions with obvious answers, sounding totally out of touch. This led to heavy theological discussion about the coming Messiah, the stuff the prophets wrote about and the salvation of a nation that’s fed up with the status quo. The Stranger baffled the two with his knowledge of history and theology. They were completely outwitted.

It was almost dark when they reached their hometown, but the Stranger still had a few miles to travel. True to their Ancient Faith, they insisted that he stay the night. He looked reluctant, but the insisted.

At the table they served a modest meal, bread and wine, reminding them of better times. The Stranger did not wait to be served, he took the bread and said the prayer, suddenly they saw, as if for the first time, that the Stranger was their Friend all along.

The great thing about this story is that the “kairos” moment, something the Ancient Greeks understood as a moment in history where the divine meets the ordinary and everything there after will be completely different, happened in the stuff old friends do around a loaf of bread and perhaps a bottle of red.

That is why, through the centuries, the friends of Jesus loved to party. What we know today as Holy Communion, with a piece of bread and a shot of sweet red, would have been very bland, compared to the way the first followers used to remember the good old times with Jesus around a table. The idea was to eat, drink, talk, laugh, joke, dance and have a whole lot of fun, because that’s the best way to celebrate Kingdom Come.

No wonder, when Jesus and his friends were at a wedding, he got a dying party started again with 2400 glasses of award winning wine.

Tonight my wife and I are going to party with some friends. Now the best parties are hard to define, but most of the time it involves music, a table (preferably to dance upon...), good food, perhaps wine and a whole lot of hospitality. The idea is to let people feel at home underneath someone else’s roof.

It’s actually very simple: Safe spaces full of fun and laughter, leads to chemistry and connection, which in turn can lead to strangers becoming good friends.



Sparky said...

Ironic... we had a "party" as well on Saturday. My wife's famous 5-course meal (it is usually 7, but we decided on 5 this time), each a very small portion, accompanied with a small glass of wine that suits the dish. It takes around 3-4 hours to get through the meal and in between we laugh, talk and enjoy every moment.

Dish 1: Spaghetti Bolognese with Gluwein to fight the cold away.
Dish 2: A lamb dish with veggies and potatoes served with a Cabernet Franc.
Dish 3: Strawberries and cream together with a small glass of Sparkling wine.
Dish 4: Cheese, figs and biscuits with a bottle of Cape Vintage (Port).
Dish 5: Coffee with chocolates.

Of course, the same lavish dish can be replaced with bread and cold water. It's the friendships that are kindled around such meals that are truly communion and which makes the real difference!

Fourie Rossouw said...

Sparky, there must have been a problem with the post office, cause we never got your invite!

Sounds out of this world!