Now and then, Jeff Kraschnewski, catechist and member of the four-parish cluster of St. Robert, Union Grove; St. Mary, Dover; St. John the Baptist, Union Grove; and St. Francis Xavier, Kansasville, takes his parish priest, Fr. Russ Arnett, to lunch. During one of their meetings, he contemplated the blessing of their time together, which later developed into a book idea.
“It was simply a natural extension to think of spending similar quality, fun-time with Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, for lunch, and wondering what Jesus would pick from the menu,” said Kraschnewski. “From there, the book chapters just rolled in logical progression from the fervent imagination that God has blessed me with.”
The story surrounds the fictional Jim Stephens, a salesman who visits a diner on a Friday after making a big sale. A man, who he learns is Jesus, sits at his table and joins him for lunch. This grows into a weekly Friday lunch date where the two discuss a variety of topics such as cars, faith, sacrifices, miracles and abortion. Kraschnewski said he hopes readers will enjoy the book on its merits of a fast and fun, faith-focused read, where the good guys win.
“A deeper desire is for readers to think of Jesus, (and) think of his life and ministry as something that can happen today. The book has a strong anti-abortion message, which has now become a political and societal-acceptance entity, opposed by the Catholic Church and other Christian churches and organizations,” he said. “Just as the Jews of Jesus’ time were oppressed by following Roman laws, Americans are ever-more forced to accept norms of society that run counter to our religious beliefs.”
Making Jesus physically present in the story was important for Kraschnewski, who works hard to make the Bible come alive to the young Christians in his parish.
“My job is to translate, explain, and project the biblical stories of Kings, divine intervention, slavery, and national occupation (all foreign concepts that do not exist in the United States today) into language, situations, and action that the YC can understand. The teachings and ministry of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, especially the parables, are topic-rich teaching material today, as they were when expressed,” said Kraschnewski. “I view the New Testament as Jesus being very much alive, and I see him very much alive today. Jesus is the divine mystery of being both God and man, with Jesus taking a very human foundation in his action and teaching. As I see Jesus very much alive, it’s easy for me to place him in a loving, positive role in modern society and commerce. It’s also fun for me to think of some of the non-covered topics in the New Testament that are sort of hinted at, but not explained.”
Kraschnewski added that he views the Holy Spirit as a Divine Mystery and by mixing in “God-to-God-to-God” interaction; he depicts a modern-day Jesus baptism event where all three God entities were together.
“They all performed that portion of godly duties,” he said “Jesus loves us and willingly became the extreme sacrifice for our sins. To me, it makes sense for Jesus coming back to his people, assuming some modern humanity and helping to fine-tune mankind without fire and brimstone or a draconian flood.”
“Lunch with Jesus” by Jeffrey Kraschnewski is available at Amazon.com. It is also available at some locally owned Christian restaurants.
“Any able Christian simply has to ask himself, ‘What is it worth to me, to have lunch with my Lord and Savior?’ The answer is in the purchase,” said Kraschnewski. “I am looking for more Christian restaurant owners to help with on-site distribution.”