Something amazing happens when we eat together. I don’t know what it is – it can’t be measured or quantified like the ingredients of the meal. Family experts will tell us that eating together has multiple benefits, citing better relationships, better grades, greater health and happiness and more. Yet families seem to be eating together less frequently.
President’s Choice just launched a new ad campaign aimed at getting Canadians to Eat Together, saying “When we eat together, good things happen.” I’m a little jealous that we, the church, didn’t produce this campaign. We know how to eat together. Churches events often centre around food. I think we’ve got this! I also think we can do it better.
Eating is one of the few things everyone has in common. Eating together draws people close and removes barriers in a way few other things do. The nourishment we receive goes beyond the physical. Throughout scripture, ‘breaking bread’ together is a prominent theme. I believe that our dinner tables have the potential to be the most “missional” places in all of our lives. “Perhaps before we invite people to Jesus or invite them to church, we should invite them to dinner. We need to make a point to share our tables with people who are in our lives but far from God. This was one of the most distinctive aspects of Jesus’s ministry.” (Barry D. Jones)
Like the ad encourages, let’s make a greater effort to eat with our neighbours, friends outside the church, and perhaps even strangers. Who knows? Perhaps we will even welcome a few angels among us. (Heb. 13:2)
CHALLENGE: invite your neighbours or someone you don’t know very well to join you for a meal, or plan a potluck or party. Let us know what happened – and send us some pictures!