Trice's Reviews > A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, & Mission Around the Table

A Meal with Jesus by Tim Chester
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's review
Sep 07, 2011

bookshelves: interested-in, culture-studies, theology-faith, to-borrow-acquire

Tim Challies has pulled out some interesting quotes about families eating together and the importance of community and eating as an expression of dependence and how our modern set-up blinds us to this

2011/09/05 just barely started reading this, but what I read made me think Mr. Chester's wife should have been the one writing this book instead of him. He talks in the beginning about being grateful for how much she puts into cheerfully making meals for their family. Later however, as an example of a lack of hospitality, he talks about an unpleasant look and unencouraging words he received from a secretary or assistant at a meeting when he asked her for tea after being offered coffee. Perhaps this wasn't such a huge request, but the way it was described made me think a few things, the foremost being 'what an ungrateful wretch!' Has he ever been the one putting together the refreshments for a meal, an event, a meeting? Who knows what else she had to do and, considering both this interaction and his reaction to it, who knows what he'd already thrown her way in terms of extra requests. Even thinking this I felt guilty, and writing it, of course, I feel a bit embarrassed... because I'm not supposed to feel these things. I'm supposed to only be thinking about how I, as an individual, can offer welcoming hospitality to people. But I can't help but feel the gender issues in his opening. And think of men sitting around chatting in the living room while the women rush around the kitchen and dining room frantically to get things ready. No, it's true, when people come to my house I would rather be able to offer them something they'd enjoy, rather than have them take something just because it's offered to them (and if I marry at some point, I hope my husband will feel the same way, for thought and prep and serving all). Guess I feel hospitality spills over into who we are as guests as well as hosts. Don't know where to go with this. I'm stuck in my annoyance at his attitude - and the hint of a masculine smugness and judgmentalism. I'm also reading a whole bunch of other books right now and wasn't making a serious stab at this one at the moment - perhaps when I do I'll get past this beginning and find a true builder for spirit and ministry and life and community.

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