I love this time of year!
Tis the season to deck the halls! To go a-wassaling among the leaves so green! To go dashing through the snow in a …sled. Time to celebrate Christ the Lord’s coming. To sing our fa-la-la-la-laing and ba-rum-bum-bum-buming. To eat some figgy pudding and extend our happy-new-year wishing.
And no doubt, many of us will be gathering together around our dinner tables to stuff our faces with far too much turkey, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole (yuck!), and pumpkin pies!
It’s interesting to consider how many of our traditional activities involve eating, isn’t it?!?
A recent study I’ve done in some of the scriptures has shown me the amazing significance of sharing a meal!
Have you ever noticed how often we see people coming together to share a meal in the scriptures?
Let’s take a look, shall we?
First, lets look in the Old Testament:
Genesis 26:28-30 – After King Abimelech and Isaac made an agreement with each other to do the other no harm, Isaac made a feast and they all ate and drank.
Exodus 24:7-11 After the Lord had inaugurated the old covenant (law) with the Israelites, Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the Elders went up the mountain. There they saw God and they ate and drank in His presence.
Now the New Testament:
Matthew 26:17-30 When we think of shared meals documented in the Bible, for most of us, our minds would automatically go here. It was Passover and Jesus was with His disciples in that upper room. It was here, during this supper that Jesus established the New Covenant of His blood.
Acts 2:43-47 This scripture paints a beautiful picture of the power of the unified church. These believers ‘broke bread in their homes and ate together with gladness and sincere hearts’. Sharing meals played a vital role to the life of their oneness. It was an routine practice to sustain their sense of community and fellowship.
Revelation 19:7-9 This scripture reveals the wedding feast of the lamb! That glorious time when Christ comes for His people.
Both the initiation of our covenant with our Lord that we looked at in Matthew 26, and the culmination of it we see in Revelation 19 take place in the presence of sharing a meal!
Looking at these scriptures side by side we see a common denominator within them…
We see covenant happening. Sharing a meal is a sign of covenant.
***The word covenant basically means a solemn binding agreement.
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty cool!
There is meant to be a special sacredness of gathering together around a dinner table. A determined communion of souls. An intentional intrusion into Kingdom living.
I love how Kara Tippets describes it in her book “The Hardest Peace”.
“The heart of our meals is to know the hearts around our table.” – Kara Tippets
Yet it seems as though in today’s fast-paced culture this sacredness is growing increasingly flavorless. It’s becoming more about tending to our stomachs than tending to our relationships. More about consuming and less about building. I’ll be the first to plead guilty.
This time of year it’s easy for our minds to fall back into this concept of engaging in purposeful meals. We gather together with those we love most, some traveling from miles away; we all hold hands and bow our heads in prayer; we make genuine attempts at authentic conversation; we may even go around the table and share what we are thankful for – and some meaningful bonding happens.
This is the continued, year-round rhythm I want my family’s time together around our table to become. A fiber in the fabric of our daily living.
When the turkey and pumpkin pie is gone… and the green bean casserole is tossed in the garbage ;).. I want the aroma of purpose to linger on.
It is my desire that our meals be a time set apart for loving, serving, exhorting, connecting, sharing, and growing with each other.. and with all those we invite into our home to join us.