Thursday, June 05, 2003

Eating Together
I love those rare moments when I just "sense" something to be true, so I go with it, even say it to other people, and then later somebody else explains to me why my hunch turned out to be somewhat correct. (in case you think i'm getting arrogant, don't worry, there are plenty of times when my hunches turn out to be wrong).

Around two years ago at a Sunday Night Gathering, I challenged our house churches to begin eating a meal together each week if they were not already. This was a hunch that I had after visiting some house churches that ate together, and others that did not, and observing the difference in the community that I saw.

I just finished reading a book called "The Rituals of Dinner" by Margaret Visser. The book contained some great stuff on the significnace of eating together (it also contained long sections on boring things like "why we use forks" -- I would say 100 of the 350 pages were great stuff). This book has confirmed my hunch about eating together.

Some quick random thoughts, in no order, from the book: Many cultures define family as "those who eat together." Eating together helps people get over fights and conflicts. The word "companion" literally means "a person with whom we share bread." The Christian idea of Paradise is a wedding dinner. The Lord's Supper is a combination of bread (the staff of life, boring but essential) & wine (the spice of life, exciting but not essential & even potentially dangerous).

So, I'll go for it again. Getting together to eat, recognizing the body & blood of Christ in the process, and then asking each other what God is doing in each others' lives -- I think that's a very pure and powerful expression of church.


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