The Glorious Ministry of the Table

With our hands, we take raw material that, on its own is simple, and we glorify it into something better. That is our privilege and our duty.

It was at table, presumably, that Jesus brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus.

It was at table that a town tramp fell in love with Him and received forgiveness.

It was at table where Jesus shared the most intimate, last moments of his life with his closest friends.

A shared table contains mysteries we may not understand. The Bible uses many metaphors with food too, drawing us to see it’s importance to our physical and spiritual lives.

“I am the Bread of life.” “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst again.” “Eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God approves what you do.”

It’s at table that conversations flow naturally and hearts are connected through shared bread and drink.

Hands have gone into a great deal of labor to prepare food, to say “You matter to me” and to invite another to your table for fellowship is a ministry of hospitality that Jesus commended.

But it’s not just a place of hospitality for strangers or friends. As a mother and wife, I’ve realized that my ministry of preparing food each night is no small thing. For in doing so, I enter that supernatural place of knitting hearts strengthening the cords of friendship–even in my own family. Especially in my family.

Preparing a meal takes effort, energy and time. It’s easy to view it as a nuisance unless we comprehend the blessing of ministry it really is.

With our hands, we take raw material that, on its own is simple, and we glorify it into something better. That is our privilege and our duty. It is the parable of the talents in shoe leather.

Then over that glorified meal we are invited to be more vulnerable, more at ease to share ourselves with each other, and that is no small thing. So to facilitate that is something far bigger than just cooking food; it is to perpetuate the heart of our Savior as He invited so many to sit at table with Him to listen, love and offer life–both physical and spiritual sustenance.

I am facing each night with a little more anticipation and eagerness to know I’m given, most every night, the opportunity to knit my family, and any friends who may join us, a bit more tightly together.

To speak to my children, without words, of my love for them and the value I place on this act that will affect them deeper than they know now.

We have to make time. We must slow down and savor what is important. Sharing a meal, a memory, an experience, around the table, is the small but big step to knitting ourselves together and building a society who knows how to listen and love, one meal at a time.

3 Responses to “The Glorious Ministry of the Table”

  1. Kelly D. says:

    I have read this post 3 times now and each time I love it more. Thank you Kelly for this encouragement. This is so, so good!

  2. Awww…thank you! I’m so glad.

  3. Nancy says:

    I so needed this as I’m planning the family lunch for after my father-in-law’s funeral service. I would encourage all your readers to share those family recipes now. Those favorite foods are part of what will help get us through that day.

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