Celebrate Life Around the Table

Families Should Celebrate Meals Together

Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family. - George Bernard Shaw

The best strategy I know for bringing up and strengthening families is to bring your kinfolk together to share meals around a table and make happy memories.  When you celebrate the tradition of eating together as a family you are building family, honoring God, and fortifying the faith of  everyone.

Now that I am a widow who often eats alone, I look forward to breaking bread around a table with my special girl-friends on Thursday nights.  On a recent Thursday evening, my friend Penny, shared this thought provoking excerpt from a book Life Together by Bonhoeffer.  I hope you will take time to read this and meditate upon these words and consider what  thoughts or feelings are impressed upon you.

Family mealtime should be both a joy and a blessing.  “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 14:15)

Christians, in their wholehearted joy in the good gifts of this physical life, acknowledge their Lord as the true giver of all good gifts; and beyond this, as the true Gift; the true Bread of Life itself; and finally, as the One who is calling them to the banquet of the Kingdom of God.  So in a singular way, the daily table fellowship binds the Christians to their Lord and one another.  At table, they know their Lord as the one who breaks bread for them; the eyes of their faith are opened.

The fellowship of the table has a festive quality.  It is a constantly recurring reminder in the midst of our everyday work of God’s resting after His work, of the Sabbath as the meaning and goal of the week and its toil.

Our life is not only travail and labor, it is also refreshment and joy in the goodness of God.  We labor, but God nourishes and sustains us.  And this is  reason for celebrating.  man should not eat the bread of sorrows; rather “eat thy bread with joy:  (Eccles. 9: 7 );  …God cannot endure that unfestive, mirthless attitude of ours in which we eat our bread in sorrow, with pretentious, busy haste, or even with shame.

Through our daily meals He is calling us to rejoice to keep holiday in the midst of our working day.”

Consider your busy schedule and ask God to show you how to make family meals, no matter how simple, a celebration of the goodness of God.

Ed Note:  Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, dissident anti-Nazi.  Among his many books and writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world includes The Cost of Discipleship, a modern classic.  He was known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi Dictatorship.

He also wrote a book called Life Together which is the story of his unique fellowship experience during the years he served the underground seminary. The book is known for giving practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups.

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