Friends, food and life…those are the three words that essentially summarize this chapter in our journey through The Tangible Kingdom. As Matt and Hugh come to the end of their book, they will intentionally seek to make perfectly clear and practically applicable several aspects of incarnational living.
Friends – here’s the argument for the “building” of third places/spaces…a place where “everybody knows your name”…a place people can relax and be in comfortable relationships on a regular basis. Essentially here’s the big idea – instead of having your life focused around the church building, why not make a step and focus your relational life where people are who need a “taste” of the Kingdom? Seems easy enough, doesn’t’ it?
Food – this is a section primarily on hospitality…the authors make a good point…look at how many stories in the gospels revolve around food…look at the powerful imagery in the “banquet table” of God. Alan Hirsch once wrote, “we had a great party, quite a mess, but lots of fun…parties are sacrament to me”. Hugh and Matt write,
“I’m not sure what definition you use for evangelism, but my favorite has to do with changing people’s assumptions…helping them (non Christ followers) see the Kingdom in a new light…this is why having fun, enjoying life, and celebrating people, food, wine, art, music, recreation, and rest become so critical in seeing friends find God.”
Life – the key here is spontaneity and listening to the promptings of the Spirit. Think about how many times that “still, small voice” whispers in your ear or speaks to your heart saying, “talk to that person…say “hi”…pray for them”, etc. Think about how many times you and me simply shut those promptings down because we have other stuff to do. Look for unplanned moments…moments that open up in the strangest of places and times. As the authors say, “most of Jesus’ teaching was done along the way or as they were going”…maybe that’s a divine “hint”.
Only two more chapters…you’ve been around this long…finish it up with me, OK?