In 1994, our family moved to Montgomery, Alabama so I could attend a year-long Air Force school. Our first Sunday, we visited a church close to where we would live. After the service, we were greeted by the Cornwell family. They introduced themselves, and then brought other people over and introduced them to us as well. Then they asked us to go to lunch at Ruby Tuesday, Dutch treat.
We didn’t bother to look at other churches.
How did you come to faith? Was there a burning bush? A blinding light? For most of us, it wasn’t anything dramatic. We didn’t know anything supernatural was happening at the time. A friend or relative took an interest in us. We came to faith through people sharing a bit of their lives. And often food was involved.
Food is something we all need. Meals are something we all do. And so it’s not surprising that both Gospel writers Luke and John tell us that the Risen Jesus met his disciples over a meal. Luke says it was in breaking bread that the disciples recognized Jesus. John says it was over a campfire where fish was being served. The Risen Jesus reveals himself in an ordinary meal.
In 1999, after two intervening assignments, we moved back to Montgomery, and to the church and the friends we loved. Again, the Cornwells greeted us and welcomed us home. Later, when I started sensing the call to pastoral ministry, the Cornwells were there to listen to us and be patient with us and help us process what we were feeling.
Who are you inviting to lunch? What opportunities is God giving you to share a bit of your life?
For us, it was just a simple invitation to Ruby Tuesday, Dutch treat. But it turned out to be as supernatural as any burning bush.