It’s always fun, but there is a caveat…
Just because we have a great time, doesn’t mean everything is ok.
I don’t recall ever suffering through a disagreeable sobremesa (table-talk) time. And I’m sure I never had one end in a fist fight. It has always been refreshing to interact with people after a meal, second cup of coffee in hand.
However, loud banter, delicious food, and laughter are simply a drug of choice… if that’s all it is.
Bona fide disciple-makers manifest a particular facet of spiritual maturity. We are aware of our place at the table. Far from dissatisfied with the good times, we drink in the moments—just as much as everyone else does… yet we remain keen for things hidden behind the door of coffee and camaraderie.
Between the seminal moments for church and the readiness of our disciples to transition into disciple-making, there are more than a few potential stumbling blocks along the way…
People can say they belong to Jesus when they don’t.
People can be less hands-on with the Bible than we assume.
People who belong to Jesus can struggle with a besetting sin.
People who hurt can feel more alone amidst the mirth.
People who swear allegiance to Jesus can deny him when it starts to cost them too much.
But Jesus…needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. (John 2:24-25, ESV)
Jesus wasn’t cynical or pessimistic. He was perfectly realistic. He knew what he was dealing with. Maybe that helped him later when one week they were all about “¨Hail to the King!” and the next, “Crucify him!”
If we are realistic, it is because we never forget what we are without Christ. If we are realistic, nothing surprises or disappoints… we deal with human beings—fallen creatures just like ourselves.
Humble people speak love whenever they see an open heart, whether it’s on a stage or by a hospital bed. They speak their words quietly, whether they are in the limelight or in a dark night.
Goff, Bob. Live in Grace, Walk in Love (p. 107). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
We don’t need to button-hole people with platitudes or stuff a tract in their pocket as we move on to our next victim. Our relaxed mindfulness will smooth the way for connection in ways non-invasive, yet with a lasting imprint.
Yes, it is prudent to assume nothing. But let’s keep reveling in our sobremesa times…. and expecting the best outcomes for the kingdom.
What has God done for us that he cannot do for others?
Next: The root of the matter…