Tag Archives: cross- cultural ministry

We’re going to need a bigger table

See the source imageI love Communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper.  More than serving it, I love seeing the people that Jesus prepared a table for.  While our Communion tables could not accommodate all those we serve each Sunday, it is amazing to see just how many persons Christ aims to sit next to.  Forget elbow room or pulling up a chair, there isn’t much room for either.

And what is shared isn’t your typical meal.  By most standards, it isn’t much.  Juice and bread, most prisoners have it better.  But, for us, it is more than enough.  Symbolizing the body and blood of Christ, cramming our mouths with bread or gulping down the juice isn’t the point.  Savoring the morsel of bread, swallowing a meager amount of juice, we are satisfied with full hearts– not stomachs.

Not an invitation only gathering, this catered meal is prepared by Christ alone.  He is serving and being served.  Christ prepares a table and serves himself up to us.  Take and eat.

Christ prepares a table for us in the presence of our sworn enemies.  Leading by example, Christ prepares a table and sits down with his enemy, Judas.  Have a seat.  He makes room for persons who make us want to leave the room.  Jesus sits down when we would get up and storm out.  “I’m not talking to her!”  “I’m not sitting next to him!”

His table is so much larger than our own.  We can seat our four and no more.  During the holidays, we move to the formal dining room to accommodate more persons.  But, still, it is family members only.

When we partake in Communion, we see all the people that Jesus is willing to sit down with, crossing cultures and all of our lines.  He reminds me that the seating arrangement in churches across the country and the world does not accommodate all of his guests.  But, if we want Christ to be fully present to receive them, then we are going to need a bigger table.

Technicolor: Multiethnic Church Conference

EmbRACE Logo copy 3.pngIt’s happening in Duluth, Georgia on February 15, 2018.  Inspired by Mark Hearn’s book Technicolor: Inspiring Your Church to Embrace Multicultural Ministry, he is a featured speaker along with many others.  Their vision: “Promoting unity and diversity in the local church throughout the city, across lines of race, class, and culture; advancing the common good and building a credible witness of God’s love for all people in an increasingly diverse and cynical society.”  It’s a tall order and I am not suggesting that they can fill it.  But, this conference offers one more conversation, one more opportunity to express our differences and then explore our sameness, our oneness in Christ.

If you cannot attend, pray for those who do.  Ask God to give them courage, compassion and conviction when sharing their stories and listening to others.  Beseech God to open their eyes to see each other without the social prescriptions of race and class.  Plead with God for transformation of heart, mind and mouth.  No talking in circles but instead, in ways that lead us to each other.

For more information, please visit their website.

Christena Cleveland on a Cross- cultural Jesus

Christena Cleveland, author of Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart, shares what Jesus is about: bridging divides, standing in the gap, crossing cultures.