My husband once bought, of all things, an antique tea-set. I guess it’s Edwardian, with little rosebuds all over it. There are 10 teacups and saucers plus cake-plates, serving plates, sugar bowl and milk jug. I’m too terrified to use it, so it sits in a display cabinet. What would make me get it out and use it? It would have to be a very special occasion. Perhaps if Jesus came for tea…
What would happen if Jesus knocked on our front door one day and asked to come in? What might our homes look like through his eyes? (For example, I never realise just how untidy my house is until someone drops by unexpectedly and I suddenly see it through their eyes).
I wonder if Jesus would check my bookshelves to see if I had a copy of the Bible. Maybe he’d listen for us saying grace before meals. Perhaps he would look to see whether my family and I appreciate and care for each other enough. Might he take a sneaky peek at my bank statements, to see how much I give to the poor? Or check my calendar to see how much time I spend helping those less fortunate than me?
He might do any or all of these things, and he’d be perfectly justified in doing it. But he already knows these things: the Bible tells us that God already knows our hearts (eg Psalm 44 [OT] verse 21 and Luke [NT] chapter 16, verse 15).
Perhaps he would teach me things; explain mysteries of God I had never understood. Perhaps he would challenge me about the wrong things in my life. Maybe he would teach me how to live better as a child of God. He did all of these things with the people around him during his time on earth.
The Bible also paints a picture of a Jesus who liked to eat in the company of others. Eating together was a big part of his culture, but in fact Jesus had to rely on others because he had no home of his own. So we see him dining at the homes of many people, including his own disciples, such as Matthew; unpopular figures, such as Zacchaeus the tax collector; friends, such as Lazarus; and religious authority figures, such as Simon the pharisee.
Of course, a meal is a great way for people to sit down and really talk, to get to know each other better and simply enjoy each other’s company — which is why it’s often a good choice for a first date. So I like to think Jesus would knock on my door and ask for something to eat.
Of course, I’d then have a major ‘Mary and Martha moment’ — so although I’d want to rustle up something really impressive, I’d probably call for a take-away so that I could enjoy every second in the company of my best friend and my God. And the Bible leads me to believe that Jesus would love just being with me, too.
And when the take-away arrived? Well, it would only take a minute to get the rosebud tea-set out. Until then, it awaits an occasion special enough.
Pray: Jesus, I would like the opportunity to sit and talk to you about everything on my heart: my doubts and fears about you, you worries, my hopes and my joys. Until we can do that in person, remind me to do it in prayer. Amen.
Think about: Would you feel naturally drawn to being more of a Martha-type or a Mary-type? What does Jesus say is the right thing to do?
Challenge: Jesus probably isn't going to be knocking on our front doors today. Until he comes again, how might we value him by valuing others in the meantime?