by Kristopher Keating, Hillside Missions + World Horizons USA Director
Once a week, my family’s little downtown apartment fills up with people who make me better. I need them. For nearly 20 years, we’ve hosted and made dinner for our friends and ministry coworkers every Monday night.
As the ministry has grown, so has the Monday night dinner crowd. I love them. There aren’t enough chairs for everyone, so people sit on the floor. We eat and talk and it’s happy chaos. My kids are usually entertaining a few people while everyone waits for me to finish cooking. Someone inevitably spills something. There are loud-talkers, shy corner-seekers, vegetarians, young people, old people, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Baptists, wine drinkers, teetotallers, students, teachers and artists. We love each other and we’re always getting better at it because we’re following Jesus together.
Monday night dinner isn’t only a time to relax together. It’s a chance to spill things and be known together. It’s also an opportunity to extend invitations. There are often new visitors joining us for dinner. And so the group and the ministry grow. Meeting and eating together stirs us to love.
When I read about Jesus at a table with His friends, I think about Monday night dinner. Our group gathers because there are people in the world who haven’t had the opportunity to hear the Good News about Him. I want people in those places to be as happy as we are at those dinners. Our ministry aims to invite people to our tables from the world’s least-reached nations because we love. We train, send and care for missionaries because we love. Dinner together stirs us toward that love.
If our prayers and hopes are only personal, maybe they could be stirred up to bigger and better things. Invite others into your life and prayers. Spend time together, and be stirred up by them. Invite them to dinner. We need community, and the world is waiting for community that loves.
Follow along with our daily devotional series for the Advent season.
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