When Jill and I eat dinner at home we find ourselves sitting on the floor around our glass coffee table. It’s not that we don’t have a nice dining room table; we simply have chosen the more relaxed and cozy setting found in our living room. This has become so much of who we are, when the boys are home and we ask them to get the table ready for dinner, they go right to that glass table. Let me tell you, the table has become something pretty special to me because of what it represents and what has taken place as we ate our meals as a family.
Sharing tables is one of the most uniquely human things we do. No other creature consumes its food at a table. And sharing tables with other people reminds us that there’s more to food than fuel. Sure, sit at tables to eat meals but tables are more a place to experience connection. Time and time again throughout the Bible, God shows up at a table. I once read that when Jesus wanted to teach His followers an important lesson, He didn’t give them a theory, He gave them a meal.
I know breaking bread around a table doesn’t make the list of the classical spiritual disciplines, but I do believe we cannot truly Love Like Jesus unless we spend time around a table. In the fast-paced, tech-saturated, attention-deficit-disordered culture in which we find ourselves, Jesus followers cannot ignore the art of the meal around a table with people we care about. The table is where we feel connected, it is where love and grace are shared and it is where we recognize Jesus.
One night Jesus gathered His followers around Him to share a meal. But that night Jesus didn’t just share a meal, He shared Himself, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.”
You want to Bury the Hatchet? You want to Stoop Low? It begins when we gather at His table and hear His words spoken to us. It is at this table where we Build Strong Bodies so that we might truly Love Like Jesus.