A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table  -     By: Tim Chester
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A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table

Crossway Books & Bibles / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

Meals have always been important across societies and cultures, a time for friends and families to come together. An important part of relationships, meals are vital to our social health. Author Tim Chester sums it up: "Food connects."

In A Meal with Jesus: Discovering grace, Community, & Mission around the Table Chester argues that meals are also deeply theological-an important part of Christian fellowship and mission. He observes that the book of Luke is full of stories of Jesus at meals. These accounts lay out biblical principles. Chester notes, "The meals of Jesus represent something bigger." Six chapters in A Meal with Jesus show how they enact grace, community, hope, mission, salvation, and promise.

Moving from biblical times to the modern world, Chester applies biblical truth to challenge our contemporary understandings of hospitality. He urges sacrificial giving and loving around the table, helping readers consider how meals can be about serving others and sharing the grace of Christ.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Crossway Books & Bibles
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1433521369
ISBN-13: 9781433521362
Availability: In Stock
Series: RE:LIT

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Publisher's Description

Meals are an important part of hospitality and can be used to foster grace in our communities. Chester draws from six narratives in the Gospel of Luke to urge sacrificial giving and loving around the table. 

Author Bio

Tim Chester (PhD, University of Wales) is pastor of the Crowded House in Sheffield, United Kingdom, and associate director of the Porterbrook Seminary, which provides integrated theological and missional training for church leaders. Chester coauthored Total Church (Re:Lit) and has written more than a dozen books, including You Can Change and A Meal with Jesus.

Endorsements

We all know fasting can be a spiritual exercise, but eating is really more like Jesus. In this book, Chester points out that Christianity was meant to be conducted at a table with the intimacy of a shared meal. Church was never meant to be holy services held in sacred buildings conducted by saintly men in long robes passing thin wafers and a thimble of juice—removed from real life. Chester rightly puts us back where we belong...at the table in front of a meal—a feast actually. This is an outstanding treatise on an important subject that was long ago lost in the mire of sacred rituals. It is time we come back to the table and enjoy the life given to us.
-Neil Cole,
founder and director, Church Multiplication Associates; author, Organic Church

I'm not sure I could name all the titles of the books Tim has now written. I've even written one or two with him. But this is the best so far, by far! It fed my soul and through it I enjoyed grace in a new way. In fact, the book is a sumptuous meal in its own right. Buy it, not just to read it, but to feast on it.
-Steve Timmis,
Director, Acts 29 Western Europe; co-author Total Church

I have always told the congregations I've served that if you take the mountains and meals out of the Bible, it's a very short book. In a world of competing church models and strategies, Tim shows us that Jesus employed one practice over all others: Sharing a meal with people. This book serves as a poignant reminder that grace, mission, and community are never enacted best through programs and propaganda, but rather through the equality and acceptance experienced at the common table. May our lives never be too busy to live this out.
-Mike Breen,
Global Leader, 3DM; author, Building a Discipleship Culture

Tim Chester has a keen ability to reflect on gospel, community, and mission, making them accessible to the common person through the mess and movement of everyday life. Tim certainly accomplished this again in A Meal with Jesus. With each meal, my convictions about how the gospel informs all of life and relationships went deeper, and my affections for Jesus grew stronger. I want everyone in my church to read this book.
-Jeff Vanderstelt,
Lead Pastor, Soma Communities, Tacoma, Washington; Vice President, Acts 29

ChristianBookPreviews.com

I have been on a diet lately. In discussions about food and diet, two opinions predominate. One is that the world would be healthier and a better place to eat in if people gave less thought to food, and simply saw food as fuel to keep our body going. The other side of the discussion says that what we need in this world are people who make their eating choices more intentionally, thoughtfully, and wisely. According to this second group, one achieves weight loss by thinking more about food and what and how they eat.

Related to this discussion are the social implications of how, when, where, and what we eat. For example, in his book Eating Animals, progressive activist Jonathan Foer argues for veganism as an act of social justice. In Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, Ronald Sider argues that American beef production and consumption may be greedy in light of global poverty. In his new book A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester argues that there are spiritual implications related to how we eat.

Chester focuses in on the gospel of Luke and six specific passages where Jesus either was at a meal or discussing something relating to a meal. He argues that how Jesus ate his meals, with whom he at his meals, and the lessons that he taught at those meals demonstrates key theological concerns of his ministry. Furthermore, A Meal with Jesus argues that as we put some of Jesus' lessons around the table into practice with our table habits, we will be better disciples and better witnesses to the gospel of Jesus.

The introduction to this book is better than most introductions. Any reader would be wise not to skip over it. In it the author considers the statement by Jesus that "the Son of Man came eating and drinking," and discusses the centrality of the meal to the gospel message.

The individual chapters will be wonderful not only for personal edification, but for a Bible study group or even as the basis for a sermon series. Each chapter examines a passage in depth, looking at how it ties into the expressed mission of Christ on earth. I plan on using this book at one point for sermons related to the Lord's Supper.

I encourage anyone who struggles with eating, loves to eat, or is curious about how food consumption relates to the gospel, to read this book. What the reader will discover is that the meal is about far more than putting food in one's mouth. – Clint Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

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