If we had to sum up Jesus' mission strategy as he headed to the cross this would surely be it. Throughout the gospels, especially Luke, we find him constantly eating with people, and spoken ill of for the company he kept.
I'm two weeks out from preaching Exodus 24 where God invites the elders to come and see him and eat and drink with him. There's something about eating and drinking face to face. Eden was a garden packed with food to eat in the presence of God and so will be the new creation (pictures along the way in the tabernacle and Ahasuerus' garden etc.)
Tim Chester notes (paraphrasically):
The goal of salvation is to eat a meal in the presence of God. The Son of Man came eating and drinking: His mission strategy. It’s not complicated, even if it’s not easy. There is a challenge here for us to have a drink or share a meal with non-Christians 3-4 times a week. If we did that 90% of our mission would be sorted. Meals enact and embody the grace of GodFor many in middle class western culture we think this must mean have dinner parties which is a major fuss, even if you've got enough guests to invite. Why should it? Everyone normally has three normal meals a day - how hard could it be, apart from challenging cultural norms, for us to do more of this together. I love that yesterday we had a house full of friends - some from our home group, some from the wider church, and some from outside the church. We've got a long way to go yet in echoing the missionary strategy of Jesus, but I want to get there.
Trinitarian people (super)naturally form welcoming and warm communities - places that love to include others, where the door is as wide open as the grace of God is, and where there is mutual love and care. This is not to the dilution of the gospel but for it's amplification. The gospel creates community, a community that loves to speak of the gospel and loves to love like the gospel.
Where does food fit into the missionary strategy of your church?