Two scripture passages that inform how we do ministry: Matthew 11.19 and Acts 14.17. Good food and drink are a peek behind the curtain at eternity.
We minister the Gospel, and sometimes it looks like crisis counseling, and preaching and teaching. Sometimes it looks like hospitality for families that have no table to eat around. Sometimes it looks like singing, laughing, crying all in the same 75-minute sunday service. But it also looks like what we did last night: a group of men being men together, eating and drinking, playing cards together, learning each other's lives along with our "tells": that guy's holding pocket Jacks, this guy's working his fingers to the bone for a boss that doesn't appreciate it. Then we retired to the porch and talked some more, and Jesus was on the porch with us, not only in the conversation but in the good drink and the good cigar, and the perfectly timed story, and the great joke. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a collection of propositions. It is a collection of propositions walking and talking and eating and drinking, forgiving, trusting, having courage, admitting that on our best days we're scoundrels half-reformed.
The Kingdom of Heaven will go on eating and drinking into eternity, and the grapes will be fermented my friends, and the mash will gladden men and women's hearts, and the conversation will go long into the night toward a dawn that brings an even greater healing and joy. So let's bring the Kingdom now, best we can in justice and mercy, in truth and grace, and in every other way it's described.