Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mandated Eating and Drinking (missional sacraments #3)

Brian Dodd sent on a Luke 10 Mission Manual by Steve and Marilyn Hill.
He comments:
1. It is full of good stuff

2. It is helpful for sharing Jesus with not-yet Christians;

3. It tilts from a Central Asian perspective and application, and helps us

look sideways at our assumptions and habits that paralyze us from moving out
of the bunker of church-culture;

4. I know Steve and Marilyn to live what they say here. They speak from

character rather than professional training--I find that usually has much
more umph.

5. It is freely received, freely given. I forward the authorization below so

you can feel free to forward this study to anyone you think it might help.

Here below is an excerpt that called to mind my experience with the precious Quechua people in you couldn't turn down, story here); and also dovetails with our discussion of "sacrament" of the Love Feast as organic/missional, link here).

I will excerpt more later.. the whole document is on Google Docs here, and appendix here.

Chapter 6


“And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things at they give, for the labourer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.” Luke 10:6- 7


Once you find your house of peace- stay there. Or as Peterson says in the Message, “Do not move from house to house looking for the best cook in town.” Once you find a house of peace, honour that house. Demonstrate relational integrity, faithfulness and friendship. If God has led you there, stick out any misunderstandings and difficulties and stay there. Work it out.

The command to remain links with the command of Jesus to make disciples,to train all to obey the things that Jesus commanded. We are not counting decision cards. Your house of peace connection is not a one time event. This is the long term! You stay in the house, stay in relational connection and do not leave them until the job of discipleship is done and then you still continue as friends. You teach them to be the pastor of their family and friends in their own house. A new friend may be comfortable coming to your house but their family and friends will not. You do not want to gather to yourself. You want to go to new houses and teach your man of peace to do the same. You want multiplication. By yourself you can only see growth by addition but when your disciples do the same, you start to see multiplication. By the fourth generation it is out of control but the key is to multiply quality relationships.

Jesus had twelve disciples and stuck with them for three years. He kept sending the crowds away, especially when they wanted to make him king. He poured His life into the twelve. He did not add to the twelve since He did not want to dilute the quality of the relationships which He shared with them. I have heard many testimonies of the intimate, joyful friendship enjoyed by folks as they started a church in someone's home. They grew and soon felt they needed a building and as they grew they lost the quality of those first relationships. Instead of friendships, came programs and as they became successful numerically, they lost their first love. This is the result of growth by addition.

Jesus did not dilute the quality of relationships by allowing others into the group of twelve. You can easily imagine that others wanted to join but He did not let them. If each of the twelve had then had their own groups of disciples those groups could enjoy the same quality of relationships. The growth is through multiplication and through releasing new generations of disciples. This is not some top down multi level marketing program but the natural expression of healthy relational life.


We have found every culture is the same in one way. When you eat with new friends they are always anxious to know if you enjoy the food. Why? If you enjoy the food, you show acceptance and enjoyment of their culture, of their likes and dislikes, of their gifts to you and, ultimately, of them.

This command to eat and drink “such things as they give” is a very strong command in a conservative Jewish culture which forbade the eating of many things as “unclean”. Eat whatever is set before you? This was a cultural divide that Peter needed a very strong dream repeated three times to understand and get over. Because of that dream he was ready to eat unclean food with unclean Gentiles in the house of Cornelius in Acts 10 and then defend that decision before the other apostles in Acts 11.

Notice the order in Luke 10 7- 9... We are to eat, serve and then declare the Kingdom. Eating together shows acceptance but in the culture of that day it was even stronger. To break bread with another meant that you were committing to be their friend for life. Jesus repeats the eating commandment twice. Then we are to serve and then we are to declare “the Kingdom of God has come near to you.”

Let us put that another way, first belonging, friendship and community then secondly behaviour, serving, meeting needs and lastly belief, truth and the communication of the Kingdom- belonging, behaviour and belief. Most of the traditional evangelical community has reversed those three things. We have tended to demand that people first agree with our version of truth, believe the same way that we do and then behave like we do and if they do so, then we will accept them- they can belong. Our acceptance is the reward we give to others for believing like we do and behaving as we would want them to.

Jesus did not do that. He went to Zacchaeus' house (Luke 19) and because of this acceptance and friendship, Zacchaeus received conviction and grace to change his behaviour

The first requirement to be a good apostle is not long academic training but someone who is able to enjoy all kinds of people and who is able to eat and drink with them!

How is your training program? ...

- Steve and Marilyn Hill.

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