Saturday, August 2, 2014
THE FAMILY MEAL TABLE
Anthony Daniels a doctor in Birmingham, England, recently spoke for Hillsdale College. He made this observance, "These homes (the poor and families of prisoners he worked with) had no means of cooking a meal, or any evidence of a meal ever having been cooked beyond the use of a microwave. [...] Many homes do not even have a dining table. Needless to say, this pattern is concentrated in the lower reaches of society where so elementary but fundamental a means of socialization is now unknown." (Imprimis, Hillsdale College).
My husband and I were also recently at the local county jail to have our fingerprints made for foster care. While there we met a lovely young lady who had recently graduated from college. She was being fingerprinted for her job in the headstart program. We asked her what she would be doing, and she listed some basic tasks that in the past a mother would have performed. The most interesting thing, however, was that she would be sitting down to eat a meal with the children everyday. She was responsible for teaching these kids a foundational part of a society. She was doing what parents should be doing. But these parents don't know how, and even our government has begun to see that this is a problem that needs healing.
My husband pointed out more importantly that all the church loves to talk of communion and feasting with the Lord, but we are missing a crucial part of the equation - the knowledge of why sitting at a meal would be a thing to be desired. If you must have a Bible in someone's language, you must make sure you are speaking his language. How silly to think we can tell someone how wonderful the Lord's Supper is or how the Lord spreads a banqueting table for us when that someone may not not have ever eaten a joyous meal at a table.
Let us realize that in our homes we have a beautiful opportunity to live the gospel already in our schedule. Three times a day we can feast with our spouses, children, neighbors, friends, and strangers. Let us come to the Family Meal Table and feast on the Gospel. Let us find this place of healing.