The Table: How Good Food Changes the World

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I love the table. I’m not talking about an actual physical table made of wood or iron. I’m talking about the table as the gathering place of family and friends to share a meal. It is where food is consumed, but it is also the place where ideas are exchanged, dreams are shared, sorrows are carried, and joys are doubled. It is one of the places that true Christian community is built. At the table, we carry out daily the kind of unity that Jesus called for in His last time around the table with his friends, the time He washed their feet and shared the bread and the wine, the body and the blood.

The interesting thing about the table in scripture is that, aside from the Last Supper in the upper room, it rarely involved an actual table. Jesus gathered often with His disciples, and many times scripture points out that it was around a campfire while they cooked fish. Being around the table with people you love can come in many forms. It can look like tailgating before a ballgame, overloaded plates balanced carefully on laps. It can happen lounged on a picnic blanket at the park with friends, moms chasing toddlers who are too busy playing to eat. But I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t admit that my favorite times around the table involve my family and friends, a real table loaded with delicious dishes that have been lovingly prepared so that the people I adore most are here with me for a while, talking and laughing, sharing and dreaming, growing and learning.

Don’t get me wrong; I love good food. But the reason I write recipes here day after day is so that you can have the same community with your people. The food is merely the calling card that makes people want to come in. Good food is the ploy that mothers and fathers all over the world use to pull their chickens in to roost for a little while. It’s the vehicle by which good communication happens and relationships are strengthened. I’m convinced that time around the table with people who are wise and godly can guide our children and ourselves to heal the world.

The table is the place that ideas, though possibly opposing ones, are discussed civilly and with respect. It is the place where children learn that parents are a wise authority who have answers to many of life’s questions, answers learned from years of experience. It is the place where generations can build bridges, where grandparents see that all teenagers aren’t irresponsible and teenagers see that the ideas of their grandparents are still quite relevant. The table is the place where friends who have broken home lives can come and rest and experience stability and see that their voice is important and heard, their sorrows carried for a while. And the table is a place of celebration, first out of gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, and secondly for the joys of life.

If your table isn’t what you want it to be, what changes would you make? If your table is a place where love abounds, would you practice true Christian hospitality and invite others into that space on occasion so that they, too, can benefit from time there?


  1. This is so true! Love this post!

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