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Jump-Start Your Day

Monday, May 14th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

LET'S HAVE A PICNIC

"The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a glutton and winebibber..." (Matthew 11:19)

 

Jesus was obviously in better shape than the other religious icons, Buddha with his bare belly or the Krishnas, walking around airports skinny as rails. One thing we know, He liked to eat, or at least liked to spread dinners for starved guests. It may be that a pastor can win more souls wearing a barbecue apron than a suit and tie with a big King James Bible under his arm. Jesus had two audiences sit down on the grass for a picnic, feeding 5,000 men with five loaves and 4,000 with seven. And that didn't count the women or children. He held a prayer meeting the night before going to the Cross but not until the disciples first shared a banquet, the Last Supper. I don't know why they call it that because Easter evening He ate fish and honeycomb with them again (Luke 24:42) and a few days later after a poor night fishing, He had breakfast prepared for Peter and the boys on the Galilee shore.

 

Discipleship meant follow-ship but also fellowship. They were to follow Him but that following, though costly, was never burdensome. He said, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light". John added that "his commandments are not grievous". They scouted out shade trees for midday and sat around campfires at night. Twelve guys together; that's a bunch of joke-telling. Lots of people invited Jesus and the disciples over for meals. Martha did much of the cooking. It was as He reclined at dinner that one shady lady poured spikenard on His feet. The religious leaders had a cow because the Pharisees and John's disciples had to fast regularly while Jesus and His crew seemed to be on a perpetual picnic. Even his stories were festive, a fatted calf butchered for a prodigal son or a rich king throwing a banquet for the poor, maimed, halt and blind (Luke 14:21).

 

There is a time to fast and a time to feast. A glimpse into Jesus' inside world shows a serious man who didn't take things over-seriously. It shows a "man of sorrows" that could laugh as easily as cry. Sure, He carried a whip when He cleaned house at the Temple but those same hands blessed and broke the brownies that fed the five-thousand. Some well meaning wet blanket insists that "life is not a picnic". I disagree but to not argue we can at least agree that life is a banquet. Jesus offers "life more abundantly". The post-Pentecost church carried on the potluck tradition, "Breaking bread from house to house..." (Acts 2:46) At Troas Paul and the church pulled an all-nighter. "He...had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak..." (Acts 20:11) I'd assume someone brought strawberry shortcake. Jesus' ministry began at Cana turning water into wine. It closed at a table with Him passing around a testamental cup. But there will be a reunion. "I will not drink of this fruit of the vine...until that day when I will drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:29). He said He will drink it new "with you". There is a seat prepared for each of us. Until then Paul says, "Let us keep the feast..." (1 Corinthians 5:8) Anoint your head with oil. Leap for joy. Bring some confetti, or cookies. It's not a sin to smile! Like the old song says, "It's my party I can...laugh if I want to". (I make up my own lyrics. We all can).


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