As we start to get Project One Church moving, I wanted to point out that New Testament Christians ate meals together. Here are a few examples:
Examples of Christians Eating Together
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,”
The next sample is of Paul and Silas. The famous story of them singing in jail and that resulting in their jailer being saved has a meal in it. Notice what happened after the duet in pinstripes:
“Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.”
Now, we go to another example from Paul. It seems that when Paul raised Eutychus from the dead he worked up an appetite. I assume that when Paul “broke bread,” he was not the only one eating among this group who witnessed this miracle. Here it is:
“And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.”
Implications of Hospitality
Another thing to consider is whether or not eating meals together is implied when we are told to show hospitality to one another. Look at the commands and then I’ll comment.
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
1 Peter 4:9
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
It is my understanding that in the days of the New Testament, showing hospitality was providing lodging for travelers. However, it seems like common sense that a meal would be provided in addition to lodging.
Summing it Up
True, hospitality was about welcoming strangers and guests. However, use the argument from the lesser to the greater. If we are to show hospitality to strangers, then certainly we are to welcome and treat our brothers and sisters in Christ at least as good, if not better.
Therefore, I think it’s fair to say that eating meals together as a church family is a biblical thing to do and that we should do it.
So, who is up for having lunch with my family this Sunday after church? Or, who should you invite over sometime soon?