Each December I set aside some time to think through the goals I’d like to accomplish in the following year. Some people call these “resolutions,” I call them goals. I’m not merely trying to come up with far-fetched wishes that I hope will come true, but rather trying to set specific goals to make the next year better than the last. Being a better parent and having a better marriage doesn’t just happen naturally, it requires loads of intentionality.
As I sat and evaluated 2015 (which happened to be a very crappy year), I tried to think of specific things that I wanted to change in 2016. Upon reflection, I realized that our family was incredibly isolated during the last year. We ate alone, laughed alone, fought alone, dreamed alone, and cried alone.
I was convicted.
This didn’t seem like the kind of family that the scriptures talked about. It sounded more like a family that was stuck in a situation that the enemy would be stoked about.
I immediately decided that 2016 would be the year where we engaged deeper into community. It was that thought that inspired this goal:
The Lopes family will host 100 people for dinner in 2016.
JESUS ATE WITH PEOPLE
We are always looking for practical ways to point our kids back to Jesus, and food is one of the easiest ways to do that. The scriptures tell countless stories where Jesus shared a meal with people. In fact, it was part of his reputation. Jesus ate so much that his critics actually accused him of being a glutton (Matthew 11.) And the book of Matthew says that the Son of Man came eating and drinking. Jesus liked to eat, and he liked to eat with everyone; the rich, the poor, the influential and the no-body’s of society.
So, like Jesus, we eat. We eat a lot. And we eat a lot with a lot of different people. We want to share the table, and our lives, with a 100 or more people this year.
THERE IS SOMETHING POWERFUL ABOUT FOOD
Did you know that the Bible is often centered around meals? Stick with me, here.
Think back to Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve. They choose to turn their backs on God and do their own thing. How did they choose to do it? Over a meal! They decided that an apple looked more appealing than God’s design for humanity. It was a meal that sent all of creation into a downward spiral.
The good news is that God didn’t bail. Even more incredible is that he showed up through the person of Jesus Christ. Instead of leaving us in our mess, he moved into our neighborhood. And what did he do? He ate a meal with his disciples. He compared that meal to the sacrifice that he would make in order to start bringing all things back to the way they were meant to be. He told his friends that breaking bread should remind them of his broken body on a cross, and that drinking wine would remind them of the blood that would be shed for their sake. God invades humanity and he tells us to remember that he did it every time we eat a meal together.
WE WANT OUR KIDS TO REALIZE GOD IS BIGGER THAN THEY THINK HE IS
I mentioned earlier that Jesus ate with all kinds of different people. That’s what we want for our kids. We know that some of the best stories are shared over a meal and we want our kids to hear lots of different stories from lots of different people. We want them to see that God isn’t just pursuing them, or our family, but that he is pursuing everyone. We want them to hear real struggles and joys, and pain and adventures from everyone that sits at the table with us. Our hope is that our kids would start to realize that God is much bigger than they think he is as they hear all the ways he is working in the lives of the people at our table.
Consider sharing this post with two friends that you'd like to have over for a meal.