Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this evening is to consider how sharing meals with those close to us could help us engage with them more deeply. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!
What is your favorite restaurant in the Boston area?
Read Matthew 9:9-13. This is a frequently read passage, so consider reading it in a different translation to help you read it with fresh eyes. We recommend the CSB, CEB, ESV, NLT, or NET.
- Does anything stick out to you from this passage?
- Eating was a big deal in Jesus’ culture. As people who scarf down lunch at our desks so that we can keep working without missing a beat, I’m not sure we are capable of really grasping how central eating was to life back then. Eating with someone was a statement that you wanted to be associated with them. Eating with someone was an affirmation of that person’s value, dignity, and worth. Who you ate with was a statement of who you loved and cared about and considered part of your social class. What do you think sharing a meal with someone communicates today?
- Think about a person that God might be calling you to bless. What might sharing a meal with that person communicate to them?
- Do you often share meals with your neighbors and coworkers? If so, describe those experiences. If not, what is keeping you from doing this?
Diving Deeper: The power to build bridges
Read 2 Kings 6:8-23.
What is happening in this passage from verse 8-19?
Had the Syrians captured Elisha, they would have surely killed him. When Elisha has the power to do the same, what does he give orders to do? What tone or mood do you read into that conversation?
After essentially holding a feast for his would be killers, Elisha sends them home and the text concludes that Syria did not invade Israel again. Why do you think hospitality has this kind of power? How would your relationships look differently if you showed more hospitality?