I am reading a book called Brunch is Hell: How to Save the World by Throwing a Dinner Party. It is based on a podcast called the “Dinner Party Download”. The book’s premise is that the world is going to hell in a handbasket because we don’t do dinner parties anymore … we go to brunch. What’s wrong with brunch? Several things according to the authors. The principal problems with brunch on my list (other than it intrudes on the middle of your day and often eliminates any further activity for the remainder of it due to plummeting sugar levels in the blood stream) stem from the fact that the entire event takes place in public. Because of this, we become self-conscious about what we talk about and reserved about how we talk about it. Similarly, the public nature of the event eliminates any concept of community because there are so many strangers around us who, frankly, want nothing to do with us (and OK, maybe we want nothing to do with them, too). Meanwhile, the dinner party is a communal affair, the conversation is open and spontaneous and, yes, sometimes loud. The group functions as a community because there is a sense of belonging (you either invited or were invited) as well as grace (you are accepted with all your faults and faulty opinions regardless of how loud you proclaim them).
So, what does this have to do with our text for this week?
Well, Jesus is part of a dinner party. One of the folks invited probably does not get invited to many dinner parties because of what he does for a living, and his acceptance of the invitation seems to result in a bit of celebration (and no doubt interesting and spirited conversation). It also gets some tongues wagging about the propriety of it all and that is when Jesus tells folks that the old way is over, and the new way has begun. A lesson about fasting and feasting as combining old and new. What is the old way? What is the new way? What is Jesus trying to teach us? Come and hear about it Sunday, February 4 at 8:30 and 11 when Pastor Jeff Preaches “A New Day, A New Way” based on Mark 2: 13-22. Come and join the conversation.