Monday, January 10, 2011


As another holiday break comes to a close, I find myself thankful for time spent with family and friends. I also realize that, being a full-time student, I'm going back to a life dominated by quick meals eaten alone. Now don't start pitying me...I actually like the time alone-especially in the morning. But that's not the point. So I'll move on.

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people." Acts 2: 46-47b

Holiday meals are special. They are traditional. My family usually requests the same dishes every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Although I doubt I coined the phrase, I found myself thinking "This tastes like Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's Eve." Holiday meals just taste better to me. It's great food that only comes around once or twice a year. But I think there's more to it than that.

I think meals are best when shared and enjoyed intentionally. This means we (I) have to resist the temptation to 1) eat fast, 2) eat on the go, or standing up, 3) eat alone if we/I want to fully experience the blessing of a meal. Meals seem to be naturally communal: talking, sharing, laughing are all part of a great meal experience. I've also read recently about the benefits of sitting and passing food rather than buffet style eating: when we pass the food it is shared and referred to as "the/our ___" rather than "my/ ___" or "mine." In order to more fully enjoy meals, we (again, I) must not see them as a fill station- a place to stop quickly, get what I need and move on, but instead linger and enjoy the blessing of communion in a meal. Also, meals must (for me) regain their status as a blessing- something to give thanks for before, during, and after the meal.

To borrow a thought from a book I recently read: when these become our mealtime practices, we celebrate each meal as partaking in The Table...that is the breaking of bread and eating "together with glad and sincere hearts."