Because Jesus came to bring people and God together and, because people are God’s kids, to bring people and people together.
For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. . . . He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. (Eph. 2:14–18 NLT)
Jesus came not only to tear down the wall of sin that was a barrier separating God and people but also to tear down the barriers that separate people and people. And bringing people together helps bring people to God. Jesus didn’t just come to make a way for people to be connected to God but for people to be connected to each other.
Jesus came to break barriers, and one of the best ways to do that is by breaking bread.
God is a father with a world full of his kids dividing over everything from politics to popcorn, from masks to musical preferences. People take sides and then put up barriers, and it’s time for Jesus’s followers to tear them down.
Make America Dinner Again
Politics may divide people more than anything else in America. Friendships are destroyed by polarizing social media posts, and families take sides and even separate over which side of the aisle they’re voting for.
The 2016 presidential election was certainly divisive. Hillary Clinton said half of Trump’s supporters were “a basket of deplorables.” Donald Trump invented mocking nicknames for each of his political opponents and speculated that Ted Cruz’s father might have been in on the assassination of JFK.
The day after the election, a woman named Justine Lee had an idea. She believed in the healing power of meals and wondered, What if I gather people from a variety of political and social backgrounds to share dinner together?
Justine Lee was not involved in politics. She just cared about people. So, she and a friend cofounded a group called Make America Dinner Again (MADA). They would gather six to ten guests from a variety of political viewpoints to have supper together.
MADA now has dinners in over a dozen cities around America and has inspired a similar movement in England. They say MADA provides an opportunity to listen and have respectful conversation. People take time to listen and empathize, and, in so doing, they all become a little more human to each other. Participants realize it’s too simplistic to reduce others and their views to a stereotype or assumption.
Do you have tension with a friend or family member because of politics? Perhaps it’s not you; maybe you know two people whose relationship has fallen apart over their political views? What if you believed God’s healing power could work through a meal?
Idleman, Kyle. 2022. One at a Time: The Unexpected Way God Wants to Use You to Change the World. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.
We have just released a new Bible Study based on Kyle Idleman’s book, One at a Time. These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.