The first time I heard about Ray Cannata was at Purdue. I don’t remember the exact context, but my gut tells me my pastor was expounding on the call to love one’s neighbor meant knowing one’s neighbor, and Cannata was his example.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated NOLA, Cannata moved from his home in New Jersey to pastor a church in the city. The gospel took root in the church and Cannata wholeheartedly embraced the city to which he was called, which eventually led to him eating at more than 700 of the city’s non-chain restaurants.
In the gospel of Luke, we gain insight into the why and the how of Jesus’ coming. We know that “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” — an obvious fact for Christians, often at the heart of many churches’ mission statements.
What’s easy to overlook is another key aspect of Jesus’ coming. “The Son of Man came eating and drinking.”
For Cannata, following Jesus means eating New Orleans.
This Friday night, my Cincinnati church is screening the documentary about Cannata (see above) in Oakley Square. Tickets can be purchased here for $5(+fees). Cannata will be available after the film for a Q&A. If you like food, city life or want to figure out what it means to love your neighbor, come and join us!
“Jesus didn’t run projects, establish ministries, create programs, or put on events. He ate meals. If you routinely share meals and you have a passion for Jesus, then you’ll be doing mission.”