Sunday Lunch: Tanindon and the Mission of Church
Last evening, a housemate met a student at supper who’d heard intimate details about the food we had at Sunday lunch that had concluded barely 3 hours before. We’re famous! said the housemate.
Not quite the point of these Sunday lunches though – which are meant to (1) welcome newcomers to the church family; (2) provide the opportunity for members of the church family to talk about the sermon that morning, speak truth to one another, build up and encourage each other in Christ.
What is the church? And what is God’s mission for the church? Was chatting about this over lunch with a Tutor last week (who afterward complained of a brain-ache :-(). Briefly (and inconclusively, awaiting further investigation):
What is church?
The Bible talks about it being, on the most fundamental level, the totality of people (“saints” – see, eg. Ephesians 4:12) who have trusted and will trust in Jesus as the Christ – past, present, and future. One becomes a member of this universal church by believing that the blood of Jesus paid for their sin against God.
- the household of God (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 4:17);
- a holy temple in the Lord and a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22); God’s temple where God’s Spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:16); a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5);
- the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 4:12);
- the bride of Christ on the Last Day (Ephesians 5:22; Revelation 19:6-8);
- a kingdom and priests to God (Revelation 5:10).
What is God’s mission for the church?
What a great goodness the church has enjoyed and continues to enjoy! A close loving relationship with the Creator and Sustainer and his providential care and concern for her. She is chosen and precious to him. She now knows true peace, hope, and unity. And because of this relationship, she is called to:
- be (and surely it would be shocking to think otherwise) holy and set apart for God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:16);
- hold fast to her confidence in God and boast in her hope in him (Hebrews 3:6);
- to build up members of this body in Christ and to love each other and encourage each other to persevere in trusting in God.
We then discussed the contemporary push for a missional church and the lack of explicit instructions for evangelism (the so-called Great Commission seeming to be directed primarily to the 11 apostles), and whether modern evangelicals had their balance right in light of Scripture and also this age. A discussion to be continued…
A clear implication though is that Sunday lunches, being for the good of the members of Christ’s body, don’t have to be fancy affairs – although it might be slightly less distractingly ugly and more conducive to conversations if I didn’t serve food out of plastic containers and mixing bowls (which is all we had in the kitchen).
In other news, a kind friend acquired the (+65)PlusSixFive Supper Club Cookbook and another kind friend muled it over to London (having remarked on the irony of a London Supper Club book having to be brought over from Singapore to London) together with a bag of Papa Palheta’s Terra Firma – double yay! Ideas for more Sunday lunches to come perhaps!