What is your meal time like? When I ask this question, so many things come to mind. I think about my own childhood, or when I was a student, or first married, or the years when our children were young or not so quite young and now when three generations eat together.
If you asked Paul and his fellow letter writers what their meal times were like, one thing they would have all said was how important the table was for the life of faith. For Paul and his fellow writers, who grew up in Second Temple Jewish homes, the meal table was the place where faith was passed on, where it was strengthened and where it grew.
The table was a place of noisy interaction as different generations ate together. The elders might tell the stories of heroes and heroines of the faith, the stories of God and the faults and failings of their fore fathers and mothers. The young might ask questions, push at boundaries as well as the patience of those there, little realising that they were teaching their elders the life of faith. The table was where love was encouraged and illuminated by the telling of jokes, the correcting of each other and by the sharing in the ups and downs of daily life.
By now you’re thinking, ‘Now just hold on!’ as you try and guess what I will be expecting you to do; you’re already thinking it will be impossible. This blog isn’t an excuse for me to pontificate on such matters or to inflict on you my likes and dislikes, but to point you in a different direction.
Though we all eat our meals in different circumstances we do have one thing in common; we never eat alone. This is because whether the table is set for one, six or sixteen we are never alone as Jesus is with us. At our table he joins us to strengthen us in our faith; he joins us to help our faith grow; he joins us that our faith may be passed on.
So what will your household meal table with Jesus be like? Will it be a place where you tell stories? Will it be a place where you talk about your day? Will it be a place where you are encouraged? Whether your table is set for one, six or sixteen may we all know ‘Surely, the Lord is in this place’.