Food is a constant theme throughout Scripture. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, there are proverbs and teachings that draw attention to not just the human need but the spiritual aspect of food. The writer of Ecclesiastes writes in 2:24, “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God.” The realization that food is a gift is beautiful when we realize that this can bring us to a table.
There are a lot of stories within the life of Christ that bring individuals to a table. It is as if Jesus uses the function of a table to communicate his message that we are all on the same level and that something common draws us there. In her book Bread and Wine,Shauna Niequist wrote, “We don’t come to the table to fight or to defend. We don’t come to prove or to conquer, to draw lines in the sand or to stir up trouble. We come to the table because our hunger brings us there.”
Jesus often invited people to the table. In some situations, Jesus invited people to teach. In Luke 5:27-32, the table is to used to inform his audience of his purpose and who he has come for. In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus uses the table to remind Martha that we need to be present in each other’s lives. Often, we get caught up in the planning of events that we forget to experience them. Finally, in John 21, Jesus uses the table as a means of connection (or better yet, re-connection) with his disciples. Jesus’ last encounters with Peter are Peter’s denials in John 18. Instead of rebuking or reminding of these errors, Jesus invites Peter to breakfast. And we are called to do the same.
This week, invite someone to a table. It can be an old friend or a new one, but pull up a chair for someone. Share, learn, and connect with those in your lives and have some good food while you’re doing it.