Read |Matthew 26:17 - 30|
The Gospel of Matthew tells the story of Jesus-of course. But, it also tells the story of a certain man. A certain man who, at the very least, knew Jesus as The Teacher. This certain man, who knew Him as The Teacher, also had a house. And when The Teacher was asked by His disciples ‘“Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”, we learn that The Teacher has this certain man and his house in mind. (Matthew 26:17, CSB). He tells His disciples to tell this certain man, “‘The Teacher says: My time is near; I am celebrating the Passover at your place with my disciples.’” (Matthew 26:18, CSB).
The disciples do as Jesus instructs: they speak to the certain man and make preparations for the Passover in his house. It is in the house of this certain man that Jesus reclines with the twelve disciples and opens their eyes to the significance of the feast they had gathered to celebrate. He refreshes their Jewish eyes (perhaps wearied from having waited for thousands of years for His appearing) to see that He is, not only The Teacher but, the Passover Lamb prepared from before the foundation of the world to be broken and poured out for their sins and the sins of many. His, is the body prepared for them; His, is the blood (life) poured out for them. And as He opens their eyes to see the significance of their tradition, He invites them to take and eat, entering into the safety that allows them to rise and set in peace, even as the wages of sin hover over earth’s dwellers. Jesus does all of this in the house of a certain man.
Though this man is unnamed and untitled, he is not insignificant. Jesus knows him and has need of him and his dwelling. This man had a house-a house God knew about-and had purposed as the setting for the institution of the Lord’s Supper. He had purposed that this man’s house be a place of feasting, revelation and invitation.
Before the call to open his house, this man would have had the day-to-day responsibility of caring for it. His daily care of his house was, mundane as it may have seemed, essential to his contribution to His story. In being a good steward over what had been entrusted to him, he was in fact preparing the stage for Jesus to be glorified (more fully known).
There is evidence that this man thought of his house as something entrusted to him by God. The evidence is in his willingness to release it for the purpose Jesus had in mind. One does not easily release what one believes they have a right to. But, this certain man’s obedience shows he knew who had the rights to the property in which he lived. And because of his faithful and open-handed care of his house the stage was set for God in the flesh to feast, reveal and invite to communion, people He had made (including this certain man).
What do you think of the space in which God has given you to dwell? Do you despise it because it is not the place you had in mind? Do you despise it because it is not in the zip code you would have desired? Do you despise it because it seems to pale in comparison to ______? You will need to fill in the blank.
Beloved, your house (the brick and mortar or whatever material of which is made) is a gift from God. Some of us have houses bigger and or smaller than others. But, it is not the size of the gift, nor even its location, that makes us accountable for its upkeep and release. It is the fact that it is a gift from God that confers on us, not only a blessing but, a sacred responsibility.
Do the mundane things. These everyday and unremarkable practices can set the stage for something of eternal value. Beloved, God wants to meet you right where He has placed you. He wants to meet you and open you up to receive those who have need to take and eat and live!
Show up every day in the mundane. Open your heart-God has need of you and your house! Send out an invitation. Prepare a bountiful feast. Set the table. Open the doors of your house. Let the people-big and small-come. And expect God to move to make the feast an opportunity for revelation and invitation.
Hear and read about How Radically Ordinary Hospitality Changed Rosaria Butterfield's Life.
Read and prayerfully respond to 10 Things You Should Know about Christian Hospitality.
Help for your response: check out these 10 tips for practicing hospitality by Craig Ford at Just Between Us, Practicing Hospitality.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. She leads the Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.