Some of my fondest childhood memories are the times my parents hosted a meal for friends or family. Company was an event in our house. Cleaning, planning, cooking - and often, my mother would bring out her very best special dishes. (We loved those dishes - they were too special for us to wash! )
Sometimes, our guest were almost unknown to us - newcomers we welcomed into our life with open arms and a pan of shepherds' pie.
Jesus loved a good meal, too. Being friends with so many fishermen, he probably had the fish fry down to an art. He attended weddings, dinner parties and picnics. He regularly invited himself over to someone's house for a meal.
There is a lot of emphasis in the bible on food and the role it plays in our lives, especially the act of sitting around the table in a communal setting. The earliest form of 'communion,' as we now call it, was actually Sunday dinner, shared by the congregations of the early church as a part of their worship service.
In truth, a meal involves sacrifice, and while our chicken and potatoes are the fuel of our everyday physical life, Jesus' sacrifice has to do with providing us with the means to attain life for eternity.
In Luke's account of what we call The Last Supper, he remembers Jesus telling the disciples how much He longs for the special bonding of sharing a meal together:
When it was time, Jesus sat down, all the apostles with him, and said,
"You've no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It's the last one I'll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God."
Luke 22: 14 - 20
Jesus explains to those he's eating with, and us, that when our life is the roughest, the best we can do is share a meal with other like-minded friends.
Are you facing a challenge in your life?
Maybe it's time to throw a dinner party!
Trey and I listen to music all day.
Classical, Gregorian Chant, children's worship, adult christian contemporary and lately, Cinderella, all make up our repertoire.
My family and I enjoy a weekly dose of American Idol. Trey sings along, twirling to some songs, stomping his foot to others. One memorable week, as a contestant of questionable ability sang their song, he looked up, asking quizzically, “Momma, what's that?”
He has a good ear, that boy.
This week, we heard the story of a contestant whose original song choice bothered him. He shared his uncomfortable feelings with the moral message of the song.
So he changed it. He chose a song that echoed his convictions, his life. He chose a song that he wanted on his life's soundtrack.
I was impressed. I'm always appreciative when I hear of someone who takes the moral high-ground. Celebrity or kid down the street – it takes courage, confidence and strength to stand up for what you believe.
Did you know that music is important to God?
Out of every option to announce the birth of His Son – God chose music:
"...a huge angelic choir singing God's praises..." (Luke 2:13)
Jesus' last act before taking the disciples to Gethsemane in preparation for His betrayal and crucifixion?
"...They sang a hymn..."
Paul's instructions to believers?
“Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our master, Jesus Christ.”
Again, in Colossians,
“Sing, sing your hearts out to God!”
Lastly, guess what God uses as a backdrop, a dramatic foil, to the unfolding events in the book of Revelation?
Chapter 18 begins with the following:
“I heard a sound like massed choirs in Heaven singing:
The salvation and glory and power are God's –
His judgments true, his judgments just.
The Master reigns, our God, the Sovereign-Strong!
Let us celebrate, let us rejoice,
let us give Him the glory!”
(Revelation 18: 1-2, 7)
What's the soundtrack of your life sound like?
Journal: Take a few moments to jot down the lyrics to a few of your favorite songs, songs you listen to frequently, or a praise/worship song
that comes to your mind. What do you feel when you read the words to yourself? Take some time to write about the music in your life.
Be Still: Read Psalm 146 a few times. Underline a few words or key phrase that come to your attention. Taking a few moments to practicing deep inhaling and exhaling, settle your mind and your body in a quiet, comfortable position and ask the Holy Spirit to join you. If your mind
begins to wander, go back to the words and phrases.
Thank you for the example you gave me – that music was an important part of your life, and of the faith-legacy you've left me. Please help me to make wise choices in choosing the music I listen to, the soundtrack of my life. I want to become closer to You, to have my life reflect my relationship with You. Please bring the music into my life that will accomplish that closeness.
In Your name, Amen.
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)