Often our mealtimes at home are rushed. Food is eaten quickly before moving to the next task. Having food to eat is something to be appreciated. Having someone else to eat with is even more special. Sharing a mealtime together around a table allows for caring conversations to take place.
In our Lutheran tradition many of us start mealtimes together with prayers such as Come Lord Jesus be our guest and let this food to us be blessed. Amen. Jesus is with us even if we don’t ask him to be present. But, trusting in his promise, we are asking him to come and be our guest and be present with us. Jesus truly is the unseen guest at our tables, and he desires to minister to us with his grace even at our kitchen tables.
Our Lutheran Confessions teach us that God is extravagantly rich in his grace. How amazing it is that God is present and ministering to us with his grace even through the caring conversations and the support we give to one another. Our kitchen table is a great place to celebrate this. So, how could we increase our awareness of God’s presence with us as we meet to eat and talk?
Here are some ideas:
- When you pray ‘Come Lord Jesus’, pray it with the confidence that Jesus is truly present with you and will minister to you through the conversations you share.
- Use mealtimes to build up and encourage one another. Share your highs and lows. Be prepared to forgive and ask for forgiveness.
- Add a devotional practice to your mealtime. Open your Bible, read slowly and listen for Jesus speaking to you through his holy word.
- Set aside a family mealtime once a week to recall some of the special meals Jesus shared with his disciples. Discuss what it means to love and serve one another as Jesus loves and serves us.
Use mealtimes as more than just a daily necessity but also as a daily opportunity for God to speak to us through each other.
- Honour Jesus as your guest by listening to him talk to you through scripture.
- Share food and serve with joyful hearts.
- Acknowledge that Jesus has provided your food.
- Turn off the TV and devices and be open to sharing with one another.
- End meals with prayers for each other and the world, a blessing or even a song of thanks.
Understand that meals around our kitchen table are not to be confused with the meal of holy communion that we share in when we physically gather as a congregation at the Lord’s Table. There we acknowledge Jesus’ presence coming to us in the bread and the wine. Around our kitchen table, we acknowledge Jesus’ presence coming to us through the love and care we share and the scriptures that we dwell in. Both tables are sacred. Both are places where God shows his extravagant grace.