This weekend brought unexpected company, their motor home, and a dog named Boo to our front yard. Tony and Kim decided to beat the heat of the California Central Valley and escape to our modest home over on the Central Coast.
Time together meant long hours lingering over meals peppered with laughter and shared vulnerability.
Meals have the awesome potential to build a spiritual legacy. Especially a family meal or one with friends.
You knew that, right? But you, like me, don’t always approach a meal with that thought in mind. Time for a change.
Eating with Jesus
Have you ever considered how much of Jesus’s ministry took place around a meal? Seems to me that he was always eating with people. In fact he was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard (see Matthew 11:19). How’s that for a reputation!
(I’m not saying he was a drunkard and a glutton, just that he had such a good time hanging out with people that his enemies accused him of being a party guy. So don’t get your panties in a knot.)
Things happened at those meals. People got offended. Or healed. And some got confused. But all had to take a deeper look at Jesus.
When we share our lives with family or friends over a common meal, we’re shaping a memory of who we are and what we value with others. We receive and we give. People do, or don’t, see Jesus in us. A meal becomes far more than a meal. It becomes a bond.
Life around the table
So, because I like to share resources that help us build a spiritual legacy, I wanted to let you know about Shauna Niequist’s new book, Bread and Wine: A love letter to life around the table with recipes.
This open-hearted, funny, and vulnerable collection of essays is about family, friends, and the satisfying meals that bring people together and nurture relationships.
Yummy recipes follow most of the essays. (I’m drooling over the dairy-free, gluten-free Blueberry Crisp.)
Shauna says about her book:
This is what I want you to do: tell someone you love them, and that dinner’s at six.
Bread & Wine is a collection of stories about life around the table—about family, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. It’s about Bacon-Wrapped Dates and Mango Chicken Curry and Blueberry Crisp. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us. It’s about recipes, entertaining ideas, and meals to share with friends and family, made by hand and with love.
Many of the most sacred moments in my life, the ones in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place around the table. Something extraordinary happens when we slow down, open our homes, look into one another’s faces, and listen to one another’s stories around the table.
I’ll agree with that. Life this weekend happened for me around a table. And it was off-the-charts good.
What’s one thing you can do to make your table times part of your spiritual legacy? Thoughts, suggestions, and other helpful input—drop ’em in the comment section below.
Have a great week, Susan
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know . . . all of your friends would be nice.