Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Family Table

Joining them at the table for supper, he took bread and blessed it and broke it, then gave it to them. All at once their eyes were opened and they realized it was Jesus! (Luke 24:30-31 TPT)

One of my favorite times is when our family gathers around our dining room table to share a meal together. Each person present is special and important to me. Each contributes to the joy of the gathering. Each brings different insights to conversations or injects humor. And the grandchildren provide an added element of happiness and celebration no matter what the occasion. Currently, the one-year-old expresses his satisfaction with his food by loud “ummming” as he chews, interspersed with squeals.

We sit at the table my parents “started housekeeping” with, dating back to the year of their marriage in 1947. For many years, after my mother bought a new table, my parents’ original table lived at my grandmother’s house. Countless family meals happened at this table, and when we moved the table to our house, the tradition continues.

The Bible provides numerous stories of times when people gathered for meals. Martha was busy preparing a meal when Jesus told her fellowship with him was more important. Jesus shared a last supper with his disciples around an upper room table before his arrest and crucifixion. After his resurrection, he prepared an outdoor breakfast for his fishermen disciples. During a meal at a family table, two disciples from Emmaus finally recognized their traveling companion was Jesus.

The family table is more important today than ever before. In a time when technology lures our attention and robs us of quality personal interaction and conversation, taking time to sit at the family table provides a chance for prayer, fellowship, instruction, and discussion. In addition to feeding our bodies, we also have the opportunity to feed our minds and model the life of faith. Like the two disciples from Emmaus, the family table is often a place where our eyes are opened to spiritual truths that impact our daily lives.

When our family gathers for a meal, we sing the blessing, and often, one of our three-year-old grandchildren leads the way. When we finish singing, we all applaud, an offering of praise and thanksgiving. The words we sing give thanks for our food, but also for friends and family. As we sing, we look at each other’s faces, and give silent thanks for the blessing of our family bond. 

When our grandchildren are grown, they will recall these times around the family table. They will remember thanking God, the joy of family time together, and the bond of love we share. And it is my prayer that they will teach their children the importance of daily communion with God and living lives that glorify him.

Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together. Revelation 3:20 CEV

Copyright © Candy Arrington, used with permission.

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