Eats with Sinners: Loving Like Jesus by Arron Chambers
Realizing that Jesus ate with sinners, emulating and acting out his lifestyle among the sinners of our society is another thing altogether. Yet, as Pastor Arron Chambers notes, "We must believe people can change" In his new book, Eats with Sinners, Arron outlines the ministry of Jesus as a paradigm for the way Christians should share the the good news with others. Thinking outside the box is Arron's way, and in many times he challenges the status quo of the church with a focus on people coming into the kingdom. This is a real insightful book with many challenging stories and ideas.
After stating many reasons why both church buildings and clothing can be a obstruction for people coming into the church and hearing the gospel, Arron shares a story that captures the heart of Jesus. He writes, "One of the most bonding things you can do for your own children is to care about their friends. Through these dinners we had the chance to build a relationship with one of our daughter's friends, Joy, who ate dinner with us every Wednesday...As she ate with us, she was fed - not just food but love, hope, and healing." The challenges of Joy's home were nothing like the family atmosphere of the Chambers family, but the joy was getting to know a girl who needed healing and grace.
Arron relates the story in his chapter on tolerance of a girl named Contessa who had deeply been hurt by some bad people and couldn't even express verbally her life until some people around the Celebrate Recovery program loved her and constantly bombarded her with encouragement and love. It took much time for Contessa to recover and profess faith in Jesus Christ, but those around her never condemned her but guided her by grace. She now shares her life and story in the Celebrate Recovery program. Through all of this Arron writes, "We are all sinners who sin. We are not sin. There's a difference." This is a profound statement because we often want to flee people who certain sins rather than offer hope for them. No one person is truly defined by sin as to be nothing but sin, they remain an image bearer of God.
I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did. With riveting stories and deep resonance for the story of Jesus being played out in the stories of sinners, Arron hits a nerve here with both a moving and powerful book.
Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.