It is becoming less and less likely for us to meet, talk to, and spend time with people who disagree with us. In the new normal the odds are high that we won’t associate with people who are different from us. Not only do we not associate with them, but we dislike them because they are different. We have lost the ability to have conversations and to love all because we disagree.
1. Our culture is deeply divided into groups, parties, and tribes. Groups, parties, and tribes that not only disagree with one another, but despise, and combat one another. What do you think has contributed to our culture’s inability to talk, be around, and associate with people who are different?
2. Jesus lived in a religious culture that also drew strong lines between differing groups. They would make associating with people who were different not only culturally unacceptable, but also a sin. How have Christians and the Church contributed to our inability to sit at the table with people who are different?
3. Jesus was able to make His table a safe place. He not only invited people who were different from him, but also had people from different tribes at His table at the same time. How does your table stack up in comparison to Jesus’? Do the people in your life look, think, and talk like you? Why do you think that is?
4. What are some of the excuses we use to justify the lack of people who are different at our table?
5. Does Jesus approach to people, disagreements, and differences make you uncomfortable? If so, why?
Before you invite someone different to your table, carve out some time and pray for the people you know who disagree and are different from you this week.