Dinner For A Sinner
My brother is an incredibly gifted cook. With his unique talent, he creates fireworks of flavor. Whenever I need to know something, he lists me the ingredients of a recipe by heart or tells me to use one I didn’t think about.
What I love most, however, is that I can visit him anytime at the place he works. It’s a hipster garden restaurant in the middle of our city. Business people fill it at lunch time, young adults late until midnight. Although all chefs prepare dish after dish like machines, my brother always takes time to greet me and offers me some food. Had I to pay for it, I would be broke soon enough: The prices are not exactly student friendly.
During summer, after a beach volley game with friends, I only intended to chat when he offered me some sort of melon soup with yuzu lemon juice. It had his handwriting on it, a philharmonic where every ingredient was heard but did not play out the others. Afterwards he handed me a couscous salad. While I was eating, I observed how he prepared other couscous salads. While he had decorated mine additionally with fresh eatable flowers and garden cress, he only topped the others with the usual pomegranate pips and crème fraiche.
I felt instantly valued and loved by this special treatment, but also guilty. I felt I didn’t deserve to be treated so special. Since my brother and I share a flat, he quite often gets to hear what he should or shouldn’t have done and at times he’s the pillow I punch in when I’m angry. If you look at it from a rational side, my brother sometimes doesn’t have many reasons to be kind to me. But when I visit him, he never comes up with sentences like: “Well, had you behaved better, I would give you this meal now, but unfortunately… Try again next week.” He’s just happy I’m there and treats me with generosity.
With Jesus, it´s the same. He had a bunch of closest friends, twelve to be exact. One of them who claimed to be the most faithful later denied having known him. Another delivered him to Roman soldiers who brought Jesus to court where he was sentenced to death. Yet he shared what was later called “The Last Supper” with them. The guys who would betray him were welcome. Jesus offered them the same food as he did to all of them, knowing what they were going to do. He even washed the feet of all of them. He not only believed that anyone who wanted to become the greatest should be the servant of all, he acted accordingly. He taught practically what it means to love the people who deserve it least. Even if it meant serving dinner to his betrayer and washing his feet. That is a lesson in love I still have to learn.