THE TABLE - Part 1

May 12 2020

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Where do you eat your meals?

For many of us the percentage of home eating versus eating out or on the run has dramatically changed in this ‘stay at home’ season.

I’d like you to consider these thoughts on the importance of your ‘Table’. Not just as that four-legged piece of wood, but that meeting place in the centre of your household.

These are not reactionary thoughts due to this new season, but thoughts and principles Joyce and I have held for decades. Take a minute to read on …

The Bible has so many references to ‘the Table’. Here are a few: (Check out whether they get outworked in your home.)

1. THE TABLE – A PLACE OF REST AND RELAXATION

The Bible often refers to Jesus ‘reclining at the Table’.

Now I know lower tables were the norm in the Middle East in those days and guests often sat on mats on the floor (not too relaxing for a big boy like me, I have to admit). I’ve struggled to get through a meal or two cross-legged on the floor in Asian homes and restaurants over the years and almost needed Physio for dessert! Nonetheless, it’s good for us to see the ‘Meal Table’ as a place to rest and relax so we break the cycle of work and change the rhythm of the day.

Joyce and I are working hard in this home-based season. Our days are full and meticulously planned to be able to do everything we need to do, which makes the meal time something to look forward to.

We stop work at an agreed time (we mostly get this right but are on the journey at least) and cook together often throughout this time. I am clearly the apprentice and she is clearly the tutor. I have to say it has been one of the highlights of this season. I get to learn from a very able cook AND get to eat the fruit of our labour!

So slow down even for a few minutes. Whether at Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, take some time to rest and replenish with a meal at your Table. Avoid walking around the house with an iPhone in one hand and Pizza in the other. Avoid eating in separate rooms of the house.

PRACTICAL
How can I make the meal time a more central part of my/our day? Whatever adjustment needs to be made – DO IT!

2. THE TABLE – A PLACE FOR FAMILY

I love the Old Testament imagery.

Psalm 128:3 says: Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants all around your table.

There is something beautiful about Family eating a meal around the Table. Hopefully we thank God for the meal but we should also thank God for our spouses, children and grandchildren! What a gift from God they are!

Make the meal time as special as you can. It’s not about expensive dining. It’s about the wealth around your table! Your Family enriches you more than your Bank Account ever can.

Our Table, when our kids were young was very important. Joyce made the rule (and you don’t mess with Joycie) of no TV and no reading at the table (today that list would include no iPhones). We made food AND conversation our daily menu with our kids and we are grateful we did. It is still one of the best things we do in life, but now eating with our adult kids and our grandchildren! Love it!

In this season of a Coronavirus when we are at home all the time, take the opportunity to have some quality time with your Family or as a couple or as house mates. Stop the work or the Netflix and get together at your Table.

And keep in touch with the rest of your Family wherever they are. We just did an ONLINE meal with our Family in London. Three houses across the globe, lunch for them and dinner for us. It was great to chat to the kids and grandkids and see what each other was cooking.

PRACTICAL
What can you do to get Family ‘together’ in the home or online around the meal table as often as possible? You may have to work at it or even fight for it – my encouragement is whatever you have to do – DO IT!

3. THE TABLE – A PLACE FOR FRIENDS

It is currently impossible, and even illegal in some nations to have Friends physically around for a feed. Some nations in lockdown understandably have a ‘strictly no visitors’ policy. That said, it doesn’t change the principle that friendship and fellowship are extremely important. So just get CREATIVE!

We have loved having ONLINE catch-ups with friends, colleagues around a snack or a coffee. It’s fun and good time to connect with you all for a few minutes and talk!

What about COOK & DELIVER? Make some extra food at home and arrange for it to be safely delivered to other people and families. Joyce does this regularly through the week.
We might not be sitting at the same table, but our table has been shared with friends and those doing it tougher than we are.

PRACTICAL
Who can you deliver a meal to that will be blessed by your generosity and friendship?
Cook it or order it to be delivered from a café/Restaurant, either way DO IT!

In the next Blog, I’ll give you three more thoughts on the importance of the ‘Table’. But let’s see how you go with these three first.

Steve Dixon.