The Hunger for Home Small Group Bible Study

Welcome to the Hunger for Home Small-Group Bible Study!

This six-part study is designed as a companion to The Hunger for Home: Food & Meals in the Gospel of Luke by Matt Croasmun and Miroslav Volf. Equipped with prayers, engaging reflection questions, and video guides, our study encourages participants to engage in Christian fellowship over shared meals.

All the resources you'll need can be found below, but here are a few quick links for ease of use:

Homes matter, for in them God breaks through. The Hunger for Home, scene after scene, reveals how home slakes our thirsts and satisfies our deepest longings."

Scot McKnight, Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

The Hunger for Home: Food & Meals in the Gospel of Luke

Free Small Group Study Guide for Home Group Leaders

It’s no secret that shared meals have been a long beloved part of church communities. And still, we have not been made to live by bread alone. That’s why we’ve created The Hunger for Home Small Group Study Guide, designed to gather your community together at the table for meaningful conversation, shared meals, and a fresh take on the Gospel of Luke.

In Jesus’s embodiment of God’s home on earth, He invited us all to the table. Fellowship over shared meals has long been a part of the Christian story, but when was the last time we all thought intentionally about our food and meals, and what they might have to do with the lives Jesus called us to lead? The Hunger for Home small-group study is designed to guide your community in exploring new questions about the bread that feeds us, who we welcome to our tables, and much more.

The Hunger for Home asks the trying questions about the food on our tables:

  • What do our food sources say about the God who created them?
  • How do we feel at home in the world when food insecurity persists?
  • How is Jesus made present in the breaking of the bread?

This small-group study is designed to guide your community through the book and into meaningful conversation around these questions, over meals.

6-Part Video Series on Food & Meals in the Gospel of Luke

This six-part study is designed as a companion to The Hunger for Home: Food & Meals in the Gospel of Luke by Matt Croasmun and Miroslav Volf. Equipped with prayers, engaging reflection questions, and video guides, our study encourages participants to engage in Christian fellowship over shared meals.

Our accompanying video series features Matt Croasmun, co-author of The Hunger for Home, providing short introductory reflections for each session’s subject. Provided to create natural segue into conversation, simply click the videos below and watch together during your small group meetings, as you make your journey through the book.

“If we’re going to understand what Luke is trying to tell us about God, about Jesus, about the world and this home into which the many meals of Luke’s Gospel invite us, first, we need to get ‘bread’ right.” (Matt Croasmun & Miroslav Volf, The Hunger for Home, p. 11-12)

“Now is the inauguration of Jubilee. The land is being set free. The disciples are to declare the good news to the poor, set the oppressed free, release the captives, bring sight to the blind, and declare the year of the Lord’s favor. If and as they do so, every meal they eat points toward a feast like no other: a feast that makes present the coming reality of the world set free to find its home in becoming the home of God. But the feast is not yet here…” (Matt Croasmun & Miroslav Volf, The Hunger for Home, p. 29)

“Jesus got in trouble for who was welcomed at the table. No one was excluded—which was itself the problem… Even those who excluded themselves could do no more than imagine themselves ‘outside’ the feast in the midst of a meal where Jesus was inviting them to the banquet of the kingdom Jubilee.” (Matt Croasmun & Miroslav Volf, The Hunger for Home, p. 43-44)

“The substance of Jesus’s Jubilee mission, the definition of true fasting that his feasting enacts is sharing bread with the hungry and welcoming the unhoused into houses, recognizing in them our family, members of our household. Meals are to be opportunities for rich and poor to be at home with one another.” (Matt Croasmun & Miroslav Volf, The Hunger for Home, p. 61-62)

“The places in which meals occur are also significant for Jesus. Because meals are not self-standing sites of nourishing mutual encounter as might happen in a coffee shop or a restaurant but rather enactments of home, when Jesus invites to the table, Jesus wants folks to ask: In whose home do we belong?” (Matt Croasmun & Miroslav Volf, The Hunger for Home, p. 76)

"When we long for home—and how we do long for true home—we are also, and first of all, longing for God. That is not to say that our longing for home is an illusion or an error. Our true longing is not for God instead of for home. When we long for home, we long for God in that we long for a home whereGod is not an add-on, but rather constitutive of home and definitive of all the other relations that really are essential there.

We long for a home where God is constitutive of our relationships with one another, where we recognize that God is always already at work in the midst of our sin, our repentance, our forgiving one another, and our reconciliation, our hosting one another across dividing lines of class, ability, and ethnicity. We long for a home where God is constitutive of our relationships with the geographies around us, where we name God as creator and consummator of the places we live, the land from which we draw our sustenance, the wilds that draw us to wonder. We long for a home where God is constitutive of our mutual belonging within our social and ecological worlds.

This is what is at stake in the meals of Luke's gospel.Each meal is a sacrament of this union of God and the world.Each meal points to God's drawing the world to final consummation as the home of God, to which scripture testifies. The quintessential picture of this at-homeness is the feast of the kingdom. It is home enacted. Each meal we eat together, rich and poor, sinners all, at home with one another in the world God created and is drawing to consummation. Each meal can become a sacrament of that home coming to be in our midst. Therefore, let us keep the feast." (Matt Croasmun & Miroslav Volf, The Hunger for Home, p. 102-103)

About The Hunger for Home

How do we become at home in this world where so many hunger for food, for companionship, or for the presence of God?

"Scripture is also a feast."

As an invitation to feast at the table of God’s word, The Hunger for Home explores the deepest human longings for home through the simple ingredients of bread, water, wine, and stories.

Matthew Croasmun and Miroslav Volf read the meals of the Gospel of Luke as stories of God eating with God’s people. By making a common home with us in this way, God turns all our meals into invitations to eat in God’s home—a home with a seat open for all who are willing.

No longer is bread simply fuel for getting through the day, but also a call to be present to the agricultural workers, grocers, chefs, friends, and strangers with whom food connects us: everyone God is calling to the banquet. As Croasmun and Volf show, Luke gives us an image of creation at home by bringing God into the home, as it was always meant to be.

About the Authors: Matt Croasmun & Miroslav Volf

Matt Croasmun (PhD, Yale University) is Associate Research Scholar at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He is the coauthor, with Miroslav Volf, of For the Life of the World and directs the Yale Life Worth Living Initiative. Follow him on Twitter @MattCroasmun.

Miroslav Volf (DrTheol, University of Tübingen) is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and founding director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture in New Haven, Connecticut. He has written more than twenty books, including A Public Faith, Public Faith in Action, Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World, and Exclusion and Embrace (winner of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion and selected as among the one hundred best religious books of the twentieth century by Christianity Today). Follow him on Twitter @MiroslavVolf.

Educational & Devotional

"At once theologically constructive and historically inflected, this text is versatile: it would serve well both as the centerpiece of an adult education series and as devotional literature for individual readers." — The Christian Century

A Spiritual Feast

"I have been reading and studying the Scriptures for almost fifty years on a near-daily basis. The Hunger for Home offered the rare experience in which, on numerous occasions, I thought ‘I’ve never considered that intertextual connection before’ and ‘I’ve never had this biblical text explained in such a fresh way!’ I highly recommend The Hunger for Home for small groups and for personal devotional study. It is a spiritual feast." — Rich Nathan, Founding Pastor, Vineyard Columbus

The Deeper Meaning of Food & Eating

"This book will help you to find deeper meaning in something you do every single day. Croasmun and Volf explore how the seemingly ordinary act of eating is an extraordinary occasion for mutual care and encounter with the living God. By bringing the meals of Luke’s Gospel to life, Croasmun and Volf explain why being at home with one another and with God is possible every day and closer at hand than we thought." — Angela W. Gorrell, author of The Gravity of Joy: A Story of Being Lost and Found

A Walk Through the Gospel of Luke

"By walking us through the Gospel of Luke, Croasmun and Volf help us see why the meals we eat, and who we share them with, should be a foretaste of our eternal home. The result is a very practical, and very moving, book—indeed, I would say that reading the book is itself a spiritual exercise. I warmly recommend it, therefore, to pastors, church groups, theologians, or anyone else who is trying to live a faithful life." — Kevin W. Hector, Professor of Theology and of the Philosophy of Religions, University of Chicago

Eating Practices & Christian Discipleship

"If you’re looking for a retreat or small group book on eating practices and Christian discipleship, this is it. Plenty has been written on ancient meal practices in the Gospels, not all of it accessible to broad audiences. The Hunger for Home offers a provocative, historically informed meditation on meals in Luke that can be enjoyed by novice and expert alike—alone or with others, in a day, a week, or a month."

Sonja Anderson, Assistant Professor of Religion, Carleton College

Listen to Nourishing "Mutual Encounter: Food, Meals, and the Hunger for Home in the Gospel of Luke" with Matt Croasmun
We Want to Hear from You!

Let us know if you're using these resources in a group of your own! Email us at to share your feedback, suggestions, or even a picture of your small group in action!

More Perspectives on Home & Food in Theological Context
God’s Love Made Delicious

The Home of God
How to Eat, Drink, and Be Human

Have You Eaten Yet?