Borscht is a soup that is popular in Ukraine. The first time I ate borscht was during a dinner with my friends at the Ukrainian church many years ago. They were having a special potluck dinner and had invited me to join. Never one to pass up homecooked food, I gladly joined them.
As I was going through the line getting my food, I came to the mashed potatoes. Next to the mashed potatoes was something that looked a bit like salsa to me, bur I did not see anything next to the ‘salsa’ to put it on, Being the creative person that I am at times, I began putting the ‘salsa’ on my mashed potatoes much to the surprise of my Ukrainian friends.
A few of them quickly said, “no teacher that is borscht” while laughing at my blunder. I asked them what borscht is and they told me it is a soup. Not one to waste food, I sat down and ate my food including the mashed potatoes with the borscht on top. It actually tasted good. I told my friends I sat down with that perhaps I should get more. They just smiled and laughed.
Sharing a meal is a great way to get to know people and build friendships. Jesus often shared meals with people in their homes. He would eat in the homes of people who were looked down on by the Pharisees, religious leaders of the day. One time the Pharisees asked Jesus’s disciples why he ate with sinners. Jesus heard it and replied in Matthew 9:12-13:
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The issue is not who we share a meal with or what the meal is. The issue is why we share a meal. Jesus shared meals with people to draw them to himself. Likewise, we can share meals in hopes of Jesus drawing people to himself through our friendships.
By the way, borscht is a delicious soup, but I do not put it on mashed potatoes anymore.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.