The table is a place to remember the blessing of God.
There is a concept from a number of years ago that encouraged Christian families to guard their time around the meal table.
The techno world we live in and embrace has in many homes robbed the family of a healthy time of communication with each other. Everyone is on their device or watching television or both and if anyone speaks, it is sometimes perceived as an inconvenience by the rest of the family.
The concept was suggested that Christian families should ensure they sit around the meal table and engage each other as they eat and utilize this quality time, and then conclude it with a devotional time in God's Word and Prayer.
There is a lot of value in this concept and it is by no means a new one. Perhaps you could be encouraged to explore how frequently the Christian Community and Body of Christ and in fact even before this, the Jewish nation in Scripture reveals so much value and situations that revolve around the meal time table.
Jesus empowered the ancient church with a strategy for communion designed to create unity, loving community, and holiness in view of His return. One part of this strategy was to celebrate the Lord’s Supper frequently. The other was to partake of the elements in the context of an actual meal.
Perhaps before we invite people to Jesus or invite them to church, we should invite them to dinner
Sharing tables is one of the most uniquely human things we do. No other creature consumes its food at a table. And sharing tables with other people reminds us that there’s more to food than fuel. We don’t eat only for sustenance.
The Table as a Place of Connection
Tables are one of the most important places of human connection. We’re often most fully alive to life when sharing a meal around a table. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, to find that throughout the Bible God has a way of showing up at tables. In fact, it’s worth noting that at the center of the spiritual lives of God’s people in both the Old and New Testaments, we find a table: the table of Passover and the table of Communion. New Testament scholar N. T. Wright captured something of this sentiment when he wrote, “When Jesus himself wanted to explain to his disciples what his forthcoming death was all about, he didn’t give them a theory, he gave them a meal.”
In the fast-paced, tech-saturated, attention-deficit-disordered culture in which we find ourselves, Christians need to recover the art of a slow meal around a table with people we care about. “Table fellowship” doesn’t often make the list of the classical spiritual disciplines. But in the midst of a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way with regard to matters of both food and the soul, Christian spirituality has something important to say about the way that sharing tables nourishes us both physically and spiritually. We need a recovery of the significance of what we eat, where we eat, and with whom we eat.
In Matthew’s account of the Last Supper, he writes, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body’” (Matt 26:26). The same pattern of language—blessing, breaking, and giving—also shows up in the accounts of Jesus’s miraculous feedings, as well as in the scene in which Jesus is recognized by the disciples with whom he had walked on the road to Emmaus.
We need to recover the importance of gathering with our family and with people around our tables for the purpose of enjoying a meal as both a gift and means of fellowship and encouragement. Such gatherings don’t need to involve lavish spreads. They can, in fact, be quite simple. But they are those meals where we gather with guests and get a glimpse of the banquet of the kingdom to come, those meals where we get a little foretaste of the shalom of God. (I use the word Shalom as we don't seem to have an English word that singularly embraces it all). A Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility.
So let me encourage you to make a concerted effort in two areas:
1. In your home, enjoy your meal time around a table as opposed to in the lounge watching tv, and conclude your evening mealtime with a scripture reading and family prayer time.
2. Think of someone each month that you can invite to share in your meal with you as you enjoy the meal the Lord has provided, and encourage them.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.