Welcome to the table

A lived generosity like I’ve never known.

I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with young and old people from the Pacific, and along the way I’ve learned a lot from them.

I’ve learned we share a love for food, for laughing, and for serving Jesus Christ as his hands and feet in a real and tangible way. (I’m the whitest Tongan you’ve ever seen.)

I have been privileged to be welcomed to many tables dressed and prepared by Tongan, Fijian, Samoan, and other cultures where I have been elevated to a position of honoured guest, and even though I’m an extrovert who loves attention in these situations it has always been deeply humbling.

Our Pasifika brothers and sisters have so much to share with us as we learn from them about the gift of hospitality. They live the idea that guests should be elevated–often to the point of our embarrassment–absolutely out of respect, care, and Christ-like love.

I have learned that to honour this generosity I am to roll with the punches, and be thankful for the opportunity. To thank the host and those that have spent hours preparing the feast. To enjoy the gathering because it is designed to be enjoyed…what a gift! The enthusiasm is infectious and it is a delight to participate in the trinity of especially Pacific culture – food, singing, and dancing.

Within our movement the Anglo church must be hyper-aware not to take advantage of our multi-cultural siblings. We must never expect their generosity, and we must never pigeon-hole the gifts of the multi-cultural church (these are both lazy positions I have seen some hold). We must always graciously accept the generosity when it is offered, and see the full expression of the Holy Spirit at work within this part of the Body of Christ.

As a friend once put it, we need to stop expecting the multi-cultural church to feed and entertain us.

Only when we meet together as loved brothers and sisters, equal in Christ, can we embrace and intertwine our cultures as grapes on the vine. What a joyous wine we make as we serve God together!

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Molk is the Young Adult Ministry Lead and Senior Field Officer (North) within the PULSE team.

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