Eating and Drinking with Jesus
". . .but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead."
Beloved in Christ,
Today is the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter. I was struck this morning by the reading appointed from Acts 10. Peter is preaching to a Gentile crowd having just received a vision from God declaring all food clean while he was waiting for dinner in the home of Cornelius.
There is a striking juxtaposition in Peter's speech between the universal reach of the gospel and the intimacy with Jesus we as witnesses are invited into. God shows no partiality, Peter begins, and part of his ability to proclaim a universal gospel rests on his very particular experience of eating and drinking with Jesus.
Universal scope and intimate practice. I find that a helpful way of understanding how the particulars of our story connect to God's grand project to heal the world with love. We can only be credible witnesses to Jesus if we, too, are regularly eating and drinking with Jesus: in our daily prayers and by sharing our lives deeply with one another, whether in-person or online. If we are faithful to that daily, hourly practice of eating and drinking with Jesus, then the small, intimate encounters that make up our days, far from being insignificant, are actually testifying, bit by bit, block by block, to the great good news that God truly shows no partiality.
Do not ever forget that every moment you have breath matters. Every moment you are alive, every encounter you have, every decision you make, is an opportunity to invite others to eat and drink with Jesus, until the whole creation is gathered around God's grand and rich feast of love.
Grace and peace,
The Right Revered Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in Minnesota