Sharing A Meal

Written by Cindy Music

After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow Me,” Jesus said to him and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors? Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:27-31

 

Awhile back there was a question of the week about what your favorite meal is. I remember answering, “One shared with family or friends.”

There are a lot of dynamics that happen during a meal. Have you ever noticed that people seem to gather and linger where the food is being prepared and set out at a party? I remember as a little girl how my mom, grandmothers, aunts, and cousins would all be together in the kitchen at family gatherings. The conversations, laughter, and sharing of recipes. Mostly sharing a part of their lives with each other.

Meal time is where conversations about life happen. It’s where we share with each other stories, opinions, our thoughts on various topics, and sometimes the challenges we are facing. Dinner is when we often ask how work was for the day, what our children did at school, or schedules for the next day or week.

First dates often happen over food. It’s an opportunity for a couple to get to know some things about each other. A time to explore whether they want to go on a second date. People sometimes talk about their hopes and dreams for the future together.

We can learn a lot about ourselves and others when we sit down to share a meal. As kids we learn how to share by splitting the last roll with a sibling. It can be a time to experience something new, like squash. We learn what topics are appropriate to discuss when others are eating. It is where we learn to pray and give thanks to God for all we have received from Him.

What I have really noticed over the years is that sharing a meal with family and friends isn’t about the food served. It is about the relationships that are created and nurtured. It’s about spending time getting to know about someone else. Sharing in theirs joys, laughter, struggles, and disappointments. It is an opportunity to spend time investing in the lives of the people around you.

Jesus thought that eating with others was an important time. He shared meals with all kinds of people. He saw it as an opportunity to create relationships and share the gospel. He didn’t care about their past, how wealthy they were, or what kind of food they offered Him. It was always about getting personal with those around Him.

Last year left little opportunity for gathering in person with others. Even my introverted husband said recently that we need to have dinner with some friends because he had missed them. This year I am planning on more meals with family, friends, and new friends that I haven’t met yet.

 

We all have to eat, so why not do it together?

 


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