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A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table Paperback – April 7, 2011
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“We all know fasting can be a spiritual exercise, but eating is really more like Jesus. In this book, Chester points out that Christianity was meant to be conducted at a table with the intimacy of a shared meal. Church was never meant to be holy services held in sacred buildings conducted by saintly men in long robes passing thin wafers and a thimble of juice—removed from real life. Chester rightly puts us back where we belong...at the table in front of a meal—a feast actually. This is an outstanding treatise on an important subject that was long ago lost in the mire of sacred rituals. It is time we come back to the table and enjoy the life given to us.”
—Neil Cole, founder and director, Church Multiplication Associates; author, Organic Church
"I'm not sure I could name all the titles of the books Tim has now written. I've even written one or two with him. But this is the best so far, by far! It fed my soul and through it I enjoyed grace in a new way. In fact, the book is a sumptuous meal in its own right. Buy it, not just to read it, but to feast on it."
—Steve Timmis, Executive Director, Acts 29 Church Planting Network
“I have always told the congregations I've served that if you take the mountains and meals out of the Bible, it's a very short book. In a world of competing church models and strategies, Tim shows us that Jesus employed one practice over all others: Sharing a meal with people. This book serves as a poignant reminder that grace, mission, and community are never enacted best through programs and propaganda, but rather through the equality and acceptance experienced at the common table. May our lives never be too busy to live this out.”
—Mike Breen, Global Leader, 3DM; author, Building a Discipleship Culture
“Tim Chester has a keen ability to reflect on gospel, community, and mission, making them accessible to the common person through the mess and movement of everyday life. Tim certainly accomplished this again in A Meal with Jesus. With each meal, my convictions about how the gospel informs all of life and relationships went deeper, and my affections for Jesus grew stronger. I want everyone in my church to read this book.”
—Jeff Vanderstelt, Visionary Leader, Soma; Pastor, Doxa Church, Bellevue, Washington; author, Saturate
About the Author
Tim Chester (PhD, University of Wales) is a pastor of Grace Church, Boroughbridge, and curriculum director of the Acts 29-Oak Hill Academy, which provides integrated theological and missional training for church leaders. He is the coauthor (with Steve Timmis) of Total Church and is the author of over twenty books, including You Can Change, A Meal with Jesus, and Good News to the Poor.
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Top Customer Reviews
In chapter 1Chester continues the theme of meals being a form of grace. Chapter two finds him point out the communal aspect of meals, and in chapter 3 he shows the hope that Jesus' meals with others brought. In chapter 4 Chester shows how we can eat missionaly, and let me just say I like this idea a lot! Chapter 5 brings us to a look at the Lord's supper and at how a meal can represent our salvation. Chester closes the book with chapter 6 looking meals as a form of promise.
I do not want to give away all that the author says in the book, because this is definitely one you need to read and re-read for yourself. The author is very faithful to scripture and challenges you to think more intentionally about eating and using it not just as a means to the end of nourishment , but as a way to spread the gospel of Christ.
The point is not the actual number. The point is we spend a lot of time eating. That's why this book matters.
A Meal with Jesus affirms something we do so often that is essential to our existence on planet Earth, shows how it's integral to God's design, and gives us unconventional paradigms that change the way we live life and do ministry.
Honestly, the sections about hospitality as mission make the book worth buying, reading, and keeping on your shelf to refer back to. Because Chester covers things like how meals help us move from theoretical community to real community, how meals bring mission into the ordinary, and how if you routinely share meals with people and you have a passion for Jesus you'll be doing mission.
You probably haven't heard this stuff anywhere else -- on a topic that matters so much to our daily lives.
A Meal with Jesus is definitely worth reading.
There are quite a few books I enjoyed reading, many more that I did not. Only a few are really impactful and this is one of them. I reviewed one of Tim Chester's earlier works, Total Church, back in 2010 (see my review here) and really liked it. I liked A Meal With Jesus a lot more.
The basic premise of A Meal With Jesus is that sharing a meal is far more than just getting a bite to eat. By looking throughout the New Testament, Tim shows us example after example of meals that Jesus was involved in and how often the meal was the setting for something profound. That is true even today. Meals shared with others represent times of fellowship, gatherings of the church, community witness and of course opportunity for mission. As Chester walks us through Luke's Gospel account, we see meals as enacted grace, enacted hope, enacted promise, etc. I am not sure if Tim would go this far but I see shared meals as even more crucial to the life and mission of the church than Sunday morning meetings.
I liked that Tim uses real examples of how this works because that helps us to see the practical and not just the theoretical but I really liked that he didn't let anecdotes take over the story. This is not a book about "How we do it and why you should to" but instead "This is how Jesus did it and why He did it and we should all do likewise". Too many books recently are nothing but a string of anecdotes with an occasional Scripture verse tossed in.Read more ›
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, as the Gospel account of Luke attests. It's a mark of Jesus' humanity, and a central point of operation for his ministry. Likewise, food is something we cannot avoid. From the Golden Arches of highstreet fast-food to the boutique deli's and coffee bars, through to the family dinner table, the church pot luck and the microwave dinners for one, food is a daily occurrence for most people.
But how should we view this most consuming of consumptions? Should it be viewed as a necessary evil, something we do to keep our bodies moving? Or should it be savored in ever grandiose ways? Should we go for quantity? Or quality? Or have we missed the point entirely?
Chester lays out, chapter by chapter, gospel manifestations around meal settings. Though I know Chester is well studied and holds a PhD, I just was not expecting such a rich and rewarding theological treatise around the dinner table! It hadn't really occurred to me how important food is to Kingdom life. Drawing heavily from Luke, and also running from Genesis through Revelation, we see the meal as enacted grace, community, hope, mission, salvation and promise.
Each chapter is solid in its exegesis, profound in its implications and challenging to put this into practice and transform the reader's view of mealtimes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book about building community. Tim reveals how Jesus used meals as the centerpiece of His ministry and how we can do the same. Read it in community. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D Johnson
This was a great perspective on the value of community and fellowship around food. It opens the eyes to see how much food is talked about in relation to Christian community and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by cwstaff
This is a very good book for anyone wants a deeper understanding about the Lord's Supper.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
well done--do not agree with all the premise of the author--but am satisfied that the discerning reader will benefit from this writing.Published 7 months ago by Linda
This book looks deeply into Jesus' ministry and has a lot of powerful things to say about sharing meals with believers and unbelievers alike. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Antonio C. Vega