As I said at the beginning of this series, I’m not quite sure there is enough material here for a full 13 weeks of classes. This topic is definitely one where I’m a little skeptical on the whole idea of there being a full classes worth of material.
What I’m trying to get at in this class, is not so much about getting people to come join us at the table, but rather taking the table with us as we go. In other words, making our lives a source of mobile hospitality.
Maybe the questions is better framed in terms of whether or not we are forming community as we go about our daily lives. In general, people eat out more than ever now. Whether we eat out in groups or eat alone, we need to ask ourselves whether or not we are ever using those times to help create community with those around us who are also eating out.
Now, there are definitely times when we eat out that the focus needs to be inward. If you go for an anniversary dinner with your spouse, the focus of such a dinner is quite rightly on each other. Likewise, we don’t want to use the idea of focusing on others as an excuse for an eat and run gospel ambush “witnessing” encountered, followed by leaving a tract on their table. Also, while I feel it’s the wrong way of going about things, if you feel you must leave a tract for your server, please leave it underneath a generous tip.
Now, this whole idea of forming relationships works better if you have regular haunts, since relationships require time and frequency. If your desire is to visit every restaurant in the city at least once, you’re going to have a hard time forming relationships. However, if you have a regular place, you have a chance to form relationships. If relationship is at the heart of what the Christian faith is all about, relationships have to be at the heart of what we as Christians are all about.
True, there may be a limit to the depth a relationship with someone who does not view God in the same way we do, (although I think we are quick to limit the relationship before we find out the depth it can reach to). Yet, there is no reason to abandon a relationship just because it won’t be as deep as many others. Again, there are exceptions, but all to often we make the exceptions the rule. On the whole, I think we could do a better job of creating relationships when we eat out in public than we do.
Again, I welcome any comments. You can comment in the comment section below or send me a tweet @anglibubs