In this week’s Monday Minute, Muriel shares five ways we can celebrate like Jesus!
5 Ways to Celebrate Like Jesus
by Muriel Gregory
Come to the Table
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Matthew 18:20 ESV
Growing up, the Sunday meal was my favorite time of the week. Having been raised in France, food was something close to our daily religion. The Sunday meal was a two to three hour affair filled with delicious food, lively conversation, good wine, and the lingering feeling that, maybe just maybe, this was simply perfection.
Beautiful things happen when people come around a table. Ever since moving to the United States, my favorite holiday has been Thanksgiving. I think it reminds me of Sunday meals in France. I can honestly say the military has ensured that no two Thanksgiving were alike. Sometimes we hosted 20 people, other times it was just the kids and me. We have celebrated Thanksgiving with snow on the ground, and also in 80 degree weather.
And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous but sinners.”
Mark 2:16-17 ESV
Jesus turns a simple invitation into celebration.
Much of Jesus’ ministry happened around food and celebration. When he came to the table, he invited everybody to join him. He didn’t leave anyone out because of poor life choices or low social status. Jews and Gentiles, Pharisees and tax collectors, synagogue goers and prostitutes, all were welcome at his table. Jesus would transform a simple meal into an invitation to his kingdom.
Come all you who are weary, come to the table and sit with me.
“I am the bread of life”
John 6:48 ESV
Come and receive from me. Receive and be satisfied.
“Everyone who drinks this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life”
John 4:13-14 NASB
The early church understood the importance of the fellowship that happens around a table. They would gather, eat, and pray together (Acts 2:42 ESV). The writer of Hebrews urges us not to stop meeting together (Hebrews 10:25 ESV).
Come to the table.
This is an invitation to partake in Jesus’ life and ministry. Come to the table and invite others to join you. Often this military life takes us away from who and what we know to be family. Flourish this holiday season by celebrating like Jesus. Make new friends. Some will become family.
Here are 5 ways to celebrate like Jesus:
- Gather with other believers. Jesus will naturally join you (Matthew 18:20.)
- Do not worry too much about the food or decorations. Create an inviting atmosphere, and most of all, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Show hospitality to strangers. Maybe that new family on post or that neighbor you have not met yet. Beautiful things happen when we entertain strangers (Hebrews 13:1).
- Turn your table into a sanctuary. Make it a place of no judgment, a haven where all are heard and celebrated (Matthew 7:1).
- Celebrate and love one another. Jesus gave us a new commandment to love one another. (John 13:34).
So gather around the table and linger there. Let a simple meal turn into a celebration. Tune the world out, and as you celebrate with friends and family, pause and notice the peace and joy there. Then you’ll know – He is there, too.
Lord, I thank you for the fellowship of believers, I thank you for the example set by your son. I am grateful to have the opportunity this season to invite others to come to the table with me and partake in a simple celebration of life. Amen.
Verses to Ponder:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34
Judge not, that you be not judged. Matthew 7:1
Let brotherly love continue. Hebrews 13:1
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. Matthew 18:20