Menu Planning & Mutual Upbuilding

“Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom. 14:19, NRSV).

It’s that time of year again where we strive for harmony in our lives and relationships, and yes even at our dinner tables.  

Thanksgiving dinner is fast approaching.  Messages and conversations with family about Thanksgiving menu plans or articles of recipies carefully selected fill our days.  You may make a phone call to grandma about her mouthwatering delights.  We are all in preparation to feast.  
A little insight into our family.  My husband was born into a vegetarian family. Born and raised with no meat.  I on the other hand was raised eating all kinds of meats and having hunters in the family.  Many members loving little game hens all roasted to perfection.  Ah and then fresh salmon, caught and baked in in herbs with pepper and lemon.  Well I had a merge of food preferences in my life happening.  Oh how much love I felt and still feel for this great man Jared who would make me his bride.  So love, plain beautiful love caused my appetites to change.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is 
than a fattened ox and hatred with it. Proverbs 15:17 
The above verse is enough Bible for me to eat meals of herbs with my favorite man- for life.

Simple understanding with extend family has made helpful ground rules in our gathering.  

1. Love gathers together
2. Everyone helps out
3. Fasting from all negativity highly advised

Yes as the years pass and loved ones are no more, we as a family have come to understand the great gift of mutual upbuilding.  Respect for each other a heartfelt looking out for each other, no belittling or angst or bitterness at our table please.  All members bringing what they can to the table of God given thanks.

This area of eating is just an example of the many areas of diversity that we are surrounded with today.  Your family may make my case and point, and if not your church family is another great place to start.  

Mutual upbuilding, otherwise know as respect for one another, a desire to share our lives at the level ground of the cross.  When it comes level ground I am reminded that the same blood which made me right with God, Christ’s blood, makes all of us right with God.  The question this Thanksgiving is- 
Will you come to the table and drink with your brothers and sisters?

Pray with me: Lord,
Let my conversation at Your table be full of life.  Speaking words seasoned with the flavor of grace to each member of your house.  For it is by grace we have be saved and I trust the work You have done and continue to do is more than able to sustain Your church, my family, my life.
For I am reminded Father in your word of your goodness and love that will not fail…amen. 
“The Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

As you gather in homes, drive distances near or far let the word of God stir afresh a resolve to build and bring God’s gift of peace.

 It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 2 Cor. 12:19-20

When we offer grace at our tables of fellowship may it not be as I wish, or as you wish, but rather according to God’s word.  The Message version begins Romans 14 with a hearty exhort: Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

Romans 14:17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

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