Food and Fellowship in Tandem
I’m looking forward to a time when I don’t feel the need to mention the “P” word: “Pandemic.” But for now, I would be remiss if I didn’t continue to acknowledge that there are Godly lessons to be learned from this experience. As I reflect on the past two years, my thoughts drift to the simple pleasures in life that came to a screeching halt. One in particular was the rudimentary act of gathering with other people. The old adage, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” hit us square in the face, and most were not prepared to deal with this abrupt “new normal” — me included! Instead of focusing on what we lost, the Holy Spirit nudges us to think about what we gained. Most would agree that what we gained is an understanding that — in simplistic terms — we took things for granted.
One activity I think most of us took for granted, including myself, was the simple, yet joyous act of gathering with friends, loved ones and colleagues. When we come together in a group, food and drink are usually involved, and if you’re like me, I look forward to the delicious and special dishes at these celebrations! But more importantly, dining together in Christian fellowship builds wonderfully-sustainable relationships with each other, as well as God.
Jesus Had an Eating Ministry
A concept I’ve covered while preaching is that Jesus had an Eating Ministry. He actually ministered by going out and eating with others — having food and wine, and gathering with people. And in the process, these people were healed, transformed, and redeemed! Jesus talked about how the Kingdom of God is like a wedding or a party. He invites us to dine with Him, and at the end of time, we will feast with Him: Then the angel said to me, Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb! And he added, These are the true words of God. – Revelation 19:9. Jesus broke bread with people from all walks of life, including people the Bible deemed as “outsiders” or “sinners.” In Biblical times, eating with someone was the equivalent of calling them an honored guest. It suggested they’re a family member and they come under your protection — and they belong. So you can imagine many folks were aghast over Jesus’s choice of “unsavory” dinner companions. Most notable was the traitorous tax collector Zacchaeus (Luke 19:7). At the core of Hour of Power, we are mirroring the hospitality Jesus extended, and we encourage YOU to invite friends and family to the table for food and life-changing fellowship!
All this being said, it’s no surprise that the first miracle Jesus performed took place during a festive wedding! In John 2:1-11, it tells the story of how Jesus took time out of His day to attend a wedding feast in the village of Cana, with His mother, Mary, and His first few disciples. When the wine ran out, it’s here that Jesus turned water into wine! Many artists’ renderings of this event show the unencumbered joy of this celebratory wedding. You can almost smell the stew cooking and you can hear the clinking of glasses and dishes. You can almost imagine there was singing in the background and eruptions of joyous laughter. And there’s Jesus in the middle of all this revelry, enjoying it all!
We’ve often heard the phrase, “Food brings people together.” Something spiritual happens when people gather around a table of bountiful cuisine. Socializing with others is a gift, and now we realize we can’t take it for granted. When we come together in faith and fellowship, the very essence of life is shared. Sitting around a table also gives us the perfect opportunity to “say grace.” Not only do we take the opportunity to prayerfully thank God for the food that’s about to nourish our bodies, but we can also harness the opportunity to recognize others and give thanks for our many blessings. God is good!
In addition, just as food comes in endless varieties of tastes and textures, everyone we encounter at an event is unique and has the potential to teach us something special about themselves and our Lord. We also reflect on ourselves and the deeper meaning of life we can attain in Christ. There’s power in being with people, sharing meals, and making memories. I’ve commented in sermons on how the family dinner hour is waning, but we should work hard to preserve it!
Friend, Hannah and I pray that you invite others to your table for prayer, fellowship and relationship building! Keep inviting Him to the table of your heart as well, and eat the bread of life that will permeate the deepest part of your soul. Take the rich nourishment He gives and share it liberally with others so it can bless them too!
God loves you and so do I!
Doing Life Together at Hour of Power!
At Hour of Power, we are very similar to other workplaces. We have meetings and deadlines, as well as challenges and successes. We also celebrate employees’ birthdays and workplace milestones! What makes us unique is that our weekly All-Staff Meeting is held in the Chapel located on our Shepherd’s Grove campus, complete with praise music, singing and prayer. The team looks forward to connecting with God and each other, and sharing food and fellowship. There’s always delicious snacks that await us, and of course, we have an endless supply of coffee! You can feel the joyous energy when we gather — and with the Holy Spirit present, we accomplish great things!
We also have an All-Staff Luncheon every month where we celebrate employees’ birthdays, as well as work anniversaries and retirements. There’s usually a fun theme as we celebrate each other’s accomplishments, nurture relationships and basically, do life together. Recently, we celebrated the retirement of our beloved Bonnie Balloch, who has been with Hour of Power for 35 years! She has served in many capacities, with a focus on supporting administration. She is very grateful for the time spent working alongside the late Dr. Robert H. Schuller. Bonnie is a shining example of how the word of God inspires and creates a joyful spirit, and she will be missed dearly.
Friends, our team is called by God to help minister to the world and we don’t take this task lightly. Please know that there are many caring and loving people on staff here and in your corner. We truly have your best interests at heart with Jesus guiding us along the way!
Inspiring hearts and easing minds…
I have watched your grandfather, father and now you for many years. I am an Eagle partner by the grace of God! Bobby, you are an amazing young man; I love listening to you! You are transparent, humble, funny and incredibly smart. As a retired history teacher, I simply love your references to ancient cultures, which makes understanding scripture so much more interesting in the context of the day. I pray for you and your precious family and am so proud and amazed at what a wonderful ministry you have continued. I pray for total healing of your darling son. I pray for strength for you and Hannah to continue to follow God’s plan for your lives. You impact and enrich millions, and I am so very blessedby all you do. Wishing God’s choicest blessings for you and your family and Hour of Power, with love in our beloved dear Jesus.
While praying for you and your family this morning, which I do daily, I felt led to write to you. Thank you for your encouraging, challenging and loving messages each Sunday. I feel you are my pastor, friend and brother in Christ. Thank you.
“Thank you for your ministry. We are very happy to see your beautiful family in your church program, especially seeing your kids growing up. We watch your program every night on TV, and enjoy your
Thank you Bobby Schuller, thank God it is Sunday and once again I can enjoy your ministry. Thank you very much God bless you and your family and all the members of the church.
Gathering with others and enjoying delicious food is truly a gift. When we get together with loved ones and say a prayer before the meal while holding hands, we can’t help but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We thank Jesus for the tasty cuisine that will nourish our bodies in need. In the Bible, there are many gatherings with a bounty of delectable fare. Jesus ministered to people while dining with them. He embraced those around Him at the table and changed their lives in the process.
WORTH THE WAIT…
MINISTERING THROUGH MEALS
by Chad Blake
Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good meal! I love the whole process of cooking. From prep to presentation, it’s a rewarding experience for me — as well as my loved ones! One of my favorite things to do is to smoke a beef brisket or pork roast. Hot smoking is the process where meat is slowly cooked and smoked at the same time. There is just something about that smoking process that brings me so much joy. I think it probably has to do with the fact that you generally don’t smoke meat in small quantities, so it means people are coming over. It takes a long time, but digging in with good friends and family makes the whole process a lot of fun.
When I was in college, I had a professor who had a common refrain, “Jesus had an eating ministry!” It’s a bit of a funny phrase, but at the same time it points to an incredible moment. There is something about sitting down over a meal with someone that connects you in a way unlike anything else. In Luke’s Gospel in particular, we see Jesus eating all the time. So much so that the Gospel of Luke is sometimes referred to as the Gospel of Hospitality. I think that concept is at the core of what we’re called to do as disciples. Hospitality shows dignity to people and it allows us to share our lives with others. Sharing the hope and message of Christ is not just about sharing a favorite Bible verse with someone, but about sharing your life with them. The Christian walk is a journey, it’s not a one-time moment, but rather a whole lifetime of moments.
That being said, it brings me back to why I think I love deliciously-tender smoked meat so much. There is a rhythm and pause. Moments interjected into the waiting. I hope the next time you’re sitting around a meal with friends or enjoying some good BBQ you are reminded of Jesus sitting and eating with people and the fact that He too, had an eating ministry like you!
We’ve all heard of the expression, “leaving a legacy.” It evokes images of a positive and noble act for future generations to find meaning in. When you make the choice to “pay it forward” in the name of God, “leaving a legacy” takes on a whole new meaning! By investing a portion of your estate in growing the Kingdom of God, the things you worked hard to build in your lifetime continue to change people’s destinies long after your passing.
In fact, if you’re enjoying the ministry of Hour of Power today, it’s because faithful friends in generations past chose to bless us with a legacy gift. Through changing seasons, we’ve been empowered to carry on because members of our viewing family have honored us with a bequest. Knowing that, there are no words to convey how important these special offerings are as we embrace the future!
If God has been speaking to your heart to share the Gospel with future generations through an estate gift to Hour of Power, we encourage you to do the following:
Ask the Lord to
give you wisdom
call us at 714-971-4111 or
email us and let us guide you through the process.
May the Lord bless you for your faithfulness. We’re grateful for your life, your devotion to Jesus, and your dedication to the ongoing work of this ministry!