Monday, August 23, 2010

creationary: happy meals with Jesus/banquet parables in Luke 14

A creationary: a space to be creative with the lectionary. For more resources go here.

Personally I think the lectionary butchers the readings from Luke 14. In my support I quote Robert Tannehill, Abingdon New Testament Commentary – Luke who suggests two frames. First an inner frame from verse 15 on, in which the focus is God as generous host. Second an outer frame starting from verse 12 (just when the lectionary reading is starting to stop), in which the focus is how those with wealth might live as Jesus followers.

So as I read Luke, 14 I am thinking tables and meals.

I’d spread recipe books around. As people arrived, invite them to search the recipe books for something delicious. As part of the gathering, as thanksgiving, get people to share their favourite, followed by a refrain, “Thanks be to God.”

In relation to confession, I’d invite everyone is invited to bring a can from their pantry. As part of confesssion (or intercession), get them in 2’s around some questions like

  • Share your can with the person beside you
  • What is the country of origin?
  • What do you know about the issues the country faces?
  • What hands made have been involved in the preparation?
  • Was it fairly traded? If you don’t know, where could you go to find out?

Then I’d use the Good Samaritan in a CNN world prayer I wrote last week.

As an act of intercession, I’d find some “family table” stories. Here are two that are on my computer, stories from Australian tables (source unknown, sorry. Happy to add the link if I am made aware).

“What is dinnertime like in your home?” “I usually eat by myself. My parents are either not at home or they are upstairs playing on the computer. So obviously I rarely talk during dinner. But I like it that way.” (Matthew, an Aussie, aged 14)

“What is dinnertime like in your home?” “We never eat together. I eat about 5pm, always something different from what the rest of the family eats, because I am picky and hate a lot of stuff. While I’m eating I talk to my mum. Usually our conversation turns into an argument, which then fades and we watch the Simpsons. My mother and brother eat at about 6.30pm and watch Neighbours. Finally, my dad comes home at about 8.30 and eats whatever mum made and tells me about his day.” (Sasha, an Aussie, aged 14)

Read them, then invite prayer for these, and other families.

By way of benediction, I’d offer some “grace for meals” option: like Saint Brigids, or the Grace from New Hebrides or the Madeline grace or the Strangers blessing.

Posted by steve at 01:41 PM


  1. i like these ideas, may steal the one about the recipe books

    id throw in a childrens book “let’s eat” by julie vivas and i have been contemplating the connection of this reading to the ethics of the gift.

    is jesus meaning to say this is how you should always act at meals (ie is there an expectation that one should be moved to a more important seat if they sit at a lower space or is jesus setting up an example that, if done over time may get people to a point where they dont care where they sit or with whom they sit? ie, if i set a practice that means you may have to sit with people who are of a different “class” from yourself you may actually find that this becomes a norm, and… moving from there that meals are not a space and time where people’s class/importance matters, rather its the sharing of the food?

    i wonder if i could do my own masterclass in the service?

    what would you cook in a morning service of 20 older rural people?

    Comment by Darren — August 23, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  2. should also say im reading all the way through to luke14:24

    Comment by Darren — August 23, 2010 @ 8:34 pm

  3. Darren, your comment brought to mind the fact that there is a list of Luke and “masterchef” recipes in my Out of Bounds Church book. Page 106. I’ll add it to this post,


    Comment by steve — August 25, 2010 @ 11:18 am

  4. I’m currently debating between using the obvious chocolate clip of the meal or a clip from the masterchef “memory” meal challenge from this year where the competitors had to cook something that brings back memories…

    im interested also in the way that we connect cooking and hospitality, with masterchef becoming more popular how much is cooking becoming more competition than hospitality (i cook you my banana split pizza, you cook me your rum and coke pork).

    Comment by darren — August 26, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

  5. Well, using cookbooks as a call to worship worked really well here at College Chapel. People pouring over books, selecting their recipe and imagining their dinner guests. Sharing that aloud as our thanksgiving.

    I then used masterchef as my sermon intro. Jesus as the masterchef in Luke 14. Along with this great quote from David Ford. “This is a picture of Jesus Christ as the [master]host of the universe, entertaining everything and everyone. It of course embraces … feasting as the practice that can most clearly hint at the ultimate destiny to which God is inviting us. That in turn involves the healing of relationships, forgiveness of wrongs, justice, and all that makes for the sort of peace in which people can enjoy each other across their differences.”

    Steve Taylor

    Comment by steve — August 26, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

  6. love that quote…

    ive got a couple of great video clips now from chocolate and masterchef and am definitely stealing the recipe book idea 😛

    just saw a fantastic episode of Big Bang Theory from Season 2 “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis” which really fits well in teh gift giving idea

    just need to cut a lot of it back now to allow space and time to engage 🙂

    Comment by Darren — August 26, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

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