“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.” — Matthew 9:10
Eating together plays such a powerful role because the meal table is the forum where ideas and values are naturally exchanged. No wonder it’s been said that some of the world’s greatest ideas were written first on table napkins. Where else would people pull up close to each other and linger long enough to share their thoughts and feelings at a deep level?
Love expresses itself in natural ways at meal tables. Love shares more deeply at meal tables than at almost any other time of the day. Love lingers at a meal tables.
In addition to being a connection place, the meal table is also the setting where family traditions and stories are passed from one generation to the next. Ask people where their family stories were shared, and they’ll point to those relaxed mealtimes—often during holidays—when no one was in a hurry to leave the table. They’ll speak with fond memories about the hours they spent laughing and talking. When their time together was over, they left with full stomachs and even fuller hearts.
I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know. You’ve likely experienced the relational power of these moments as well. But have you ever considered it a place of ministry?
Set an intentional meal time with your family, spouse, or friend. Consider setting 1 day a week aside if you're just beginning this practice.