The Family/Church that Eats Together…
Do you enjoy a good church potluck/dinner? Of course you do, and for good reason. There is an opportunity for a smorgasbord of good food. I have great memories of church dinners. But it is more than just good food. There is something about eating together that brings us together in a much more personal way. Meals can bond people together. That is why we take our loved ones out to dinner. We share more than a meal.
Sadly, over and over I read and hear that families rarely eat together, and even less around a kitchen table. According to one study, 70% of meals are consumed outside of the home, and the ones that are eaten at home are often in front of the television. Based upon the number of restaurants that we have, that is not too hard to believe. 20% of meals are consumed in cars. Friends, that explains some things. Things have changed and it shows.
There was a time when families ate together, and we said that the family that ate together stayed together. True! Eating meals around a common table provides the greatest opportunity for personal connection. It is a great time to check-in with each other. Pray together and counsel each other. It seems hard for me to believe that this even needs to be said.
In both homes that Jennifer and I grew up in, eating in any other room or place was not an option. All meals were served and eaten at the family table. In our home, you did not even dare to take food into my mothers good living room! It was off-limits. Jennifer and I thank God for that tradition and practice more and more every year. And, we have retained that practice. No one eats alone or in another room, except on rare occasions. And God knows that the television is off, and so are the phones. Eating together is a core-value in the Jayne home, and it was one in the early church too.
“Love-feasts”, after the greek word “agape” were dinners that were a regular part of nearly all church services and meetings in the early church. If the church met for a service, they had a meal. That was the way it was. It was as much a part of the meeting time as the preaching and singing, imagine that. It was described as “breaking bread” together.
Paul refers to this practice in I Corinthians 11:17-34. That is where we will be learning some Biblical truth about the value of eating together, and how to prepare ourselves for the Lord’s supper. We have all been told and reminded that it is important to wash our hands before we eat. We can still hear our moms saying, “Make sure your hands are clean!”
However, when we come to eat the Lord’s supper, we need to have clean hearts. Paul says, “make sure your hearts are clean”! And it is such a serious matter that Pauls said that some of those in the church had gotten sick and even died from eating in an unworthy manner. Wow. This is another important message for “such a time as this“.
Plan to join us at 9:30 am as we learn, grow and EAT TOGETHER. It is the first Sunday of the month so we will be having the Lord’s supper together followed by an AGAPE/LOVE FEAST, otherwise known as the church potluck. Please bring 2-3 tasty dishes to pass and a heart filled with God’s love.
In God’s Good Grip,
PS There are many new prayer requests and our new Bible studies and prayer times begin tonight! Look for an email from Jennifer with more details.