Teaching » At The Table: Jesus & Hospitality

In Luke’s Gospel, it is said that Jesus was often either on the way to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal. For Jesus, discipleship and mission happened around a table, where strangers, enemies and friends joined him. So likewise, our tables are places of hospitality and fellowship, where announcements, confessions and revelations often occur. As we journey through this new teaching series, we will understand our tables as places of transformation and reconciliation, where our open doors illustrate our open hearts.


At the Table

Luke 24:30-31

Rich Wilson

In the Gospel of Luke, we meet two such troubled disciples. As they walk along the road, they open their hearts to a stranger who listens to their tale. They invite him into their home. They sit at the table, and the stranger breaks bread with them. Their eyes are opened, and they recognise the stranger as the risen Christ.

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Encounter At The Table Pt.1

Luke 15:11-32

Lucy and Phil Lyon

The table can be a place of profound encounters with God and each other. The table becomes the venue for daily habits and life-changing moments. Characters encounter Jesus at the table throughout the Gospel of Luke. Jesus was available to them, interested in them and honouring to them. 

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Encounter At The Table Pt.2

Luke 15:11-32

Rachel Sadler

The table can be a place of profound encounters with God and each other. The table becomes the venue for daily habits and life-changing moments. Characters encounter Jesus at the table throughout the Gospel of Luke. Jesus was available to them, interested in them and honouring to them. 

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Space At The Table Pt.1

Luke 14:1-24

Sarah and Jez Gowers-Cromie

Who is my neighbour? What obstacles might they face in joining ‘the table’? What tables need to be overthrown to make space for those excluded?

Luke 5 tells the story of a meal with a seemingly disreputable guest list. God is sitting down and eating with his enemies. ‘When persons were estranged’, says scholar Scott Bartchy, ‘a meal invitation opened the way to reconciliation.’ In the Gospel of Luke, meals become a form of enacted grace. We can create patterns of exclusion or inclusion through the invitations we make to our tables or into our homes. Are we conscious of the impact of our choices?

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Traditions at the Table Pt. 1

Luke 22:7-38

Luc Sadler

What traditions can we create as a community? Who can we invite? Traditions are rhythms of life that remind us of past, present and future events. They may celebrate joy, share sorrow, or simply mark a moment. Creating regular moments of celebration around the table can form our habits, lifestyles, and memories. As we look at scripture, we see an example in the Gospel of Luke. ‘Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’, Luke 22:19-20.

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Honesty At The Table

Luke 5

Rich Cave

What is your approach to hospitality?

There’s an art to engaging with one another. There’s power in a good question. In his interactions with Samaritans, leaders and tax collectors, Jesus tailored his conversation to the unique situations and people around him. ‘Hospitality involves a willingness to adjust our plans to suit specific needs’, says author Carolyn Lacey. This allows depth and openness in our relationships. And where there's an honest conversation, good things can happen.

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Space at the Table Pt. 2

Luke 14:1-24

Danny De Becker

Who is my neighbour? What obstacles might they face in joining ‘the table’? What tables need to be overthrown to make space for those excluded? Luke 5 tells the story of a meal with a seemingly disreputable guest list. God is sitting down and eating with his enemies. ‘When persons were estranged’, says scholar Scott Bartchy, ‘a meal invitation opened the way to reconciliation.’ In the Gospel of Luke, meals become a form of enacted grace. We can create patterns of exclusion or inclusion through the invitations we make to our tables or into our homes. Are we conscious of the impact of our choices?

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Generosity At The Table

John 7:37-38

Marg & John Aust

Do you struggle to welcome others into your life? Do you believe that God can transform your feelings, motives or capacity?

In scripture, ‘the table’ is often portrayed as a place of lavish excess. From the banquets in Esther to the hospitality of Lydia in Acts, a table is a place of generosity. Hospitality is grounded in generously giving to others and receiving the blessings they offer in return.

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Authenticity at the Table

Luke 10:38-42

Renae Huggan-Broughton

Do you hide in the kitchen? Or do you allow others to see you as you are? 'Many people love the idea of the church as a community. But when we eat together, we encounter not some theoretical community, but real people with all their problems and quirks,’ says author Tim Chester. A table is a place where we can be our authentic selves. We have heard it said that Jesus welcomed sinners, but so too did sinners welcome Jesus. As Jesus accepted and received hospitality, he graced his hosts with honour, restoring their humanity.

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Traditions At The Table Pt.2

Luke 22:7-38

Mal Calladine

What traditions can we create as a community? Who can we invite?

Traditions are rhythms of life that remind us of past, present and future events. They may celebrate joy, share sorrow, or simply mark a moment. Creating regular moments of celebration around the table can form our habits, lifestyles, and memories. As we look at scripture, we see an example in the Gospel of Luke. ‘Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’, Luke 22:19-20. 

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Grace at the Table

Luke 7:36-50

Jess Reed

How do you react to God’s extravagant grace?

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus shares three stories in which something lost is found. These tales about a sheep, a coin and a son explain his approach to hospitality. Characters in the parables are shocked, surprised, and even angry as they reclaim what was once lost. Each story ends with a party. Each story demonstrates the scandal of God’s grace. Jesus says in Luke 5, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”.

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Hope At The Table Pt.1

Luke 9:10-20

Ness Wilson

How do you give thanks? What are you hopeful for?

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus transforms five loaves and two fish into enough food for five thousand. This miracle echoes stories and prophecies in the Old Testament. But the meals of Jesus also point to a future hope. The banquet is a description of God’s coming Kingdom, of its plentiful provision. ‘The meals of Jesus are a sign of hope’, says author Tim Chester, ‘It is hope for a renewed creation with bodies and food… In the meantime, every meal is a picture of God’s goodness and a reminder of his coming world.

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Reconciliation at the Table

Luke 17:1-4

Amy Myatt

When did you last do the dishes? When did you last clean food off the floor? At the table, we encounter the reality of our relationships, with all their disagreements and complications. We’re provoked to love beyond our abstract or idealised idea of family and community. “At a time of deep disconnection and dislocation, it is so important that we contend and fight for relationships,” says Tim Hughes, pastor of Gas Street Church, Birmingham. “All around us, we’re surrounded by division, conflict, chaos, at both a macro and a micro-level. All around us, we’re aware of a breakdown in friendship.” So how do we bring Heaven’s reality into our relationships?

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Hope at the Table Pt. 2

Luke 9:10-20

Tilly Robinson

How do you give thanks? What are you hopeful for? In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus transforms five loaves and two fish into enough food for five thousand. This miracle echoes stories and prophecies in the Old Testament. But the meals of Jesus also point to a future hope. The banquet is a description of God’s coming Kingdom, of its plentiful provision. ‘The meals of Jesus are a sign of hope’, says author Tim Chester, ‘It is hope for a renewed creation with bodies and food… In the meantime, every meal is a picture of God’s goodness and a reminder of his coming world.’

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Celebration at the Table

John 2:1-11

Rebecca Tyers & Elsbeth Goodwright

How do you celebrate? In the Gospel of John, we read of Jesus’ first miracle. Along with family and friends, Jesus attends a wedding. As the celebration runs on, the wine runs out. Jesus is called upon to intervene, or else the party end. He proceeds to turn water into wine. Jesus starts as he means to go on, lavish in love. ‘In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9.

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