For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:18-19)
Are we feasters or fasters?
John is John the Baptist. He exercised a strict self-control and people mocked him. And Jesus (the Son of Man) enjoyed a good party and was falsely accused of being a drunk who liked to pig out.
In what ways are today’s Christians like John the Baptist? There are several ways we seem to be weird and strict in today’s culture. First, as we rely on guidelines from the Bible, we’re falsely accused of being puritanical, tyrannical, and narrow-minded.
Another way we seem a little weird…. who ever heard of fasting nowadays? (Especially when it’s not even part of a health food craze!) One day a bunch of us were fasting because we wanted to pray for God’s blessing on the church as we entered the fall activities for 2021.
And finally, we have a cross in our church sanctuary. Yes, it is weird to rely on the sacrifice of a Jewish carpenter on a cross two thousand years ago. But life today too often leads to people being angry, depressed, alienated and lonely. The weirdness of the cross propels us into a love that ends up in feasting.
This Christmas week our church1 had our second outdoor Christmas Village with joyous music and delicious goodies…. as representatives of Jesus, we were joyfully eating the best German bratwurst, drinking hot cider, and crunching fresh-made kettle corn. We welcomed anyone from town who wanted to join in. So, in answer to today’s title question: Both these things are true — we are both weird and welcoming!