As Abby and I were discussing our recent move and asking each other if we had felt “settled” yet, Abby pointed out that she wouldn’t truly feel settled until we got a dining table. In my mind, I thought “oh boy, here’s another item we need to purchase for our house.” I felt as if we were doing just fine eating enchiladas with our plates in our lap, or on the small end table with the circumference of a basketball. Little did I know, Abby just made a profound statement.
We left to go have dinner with some friends and as I was contemplating our conversation, I felt as if I made Abby’s desire of wanting a dining table another task to check off of our to do list in order to get settled. But where my annoyance with piling up the to do list led, God revealed the sacredness of her statement. “I won’t truly feel settled until we get a dining table.”
Why? What makes buying a dining table so sacred? What makes owning our own dining table so important?
I began to ponder what a dining table represented. Community. Community with my wife, community with our friends. Dinner, game nights, drinking coffee, conversations, reading, doing homework, cooking, etc. There are so many sacred moments that happen at a dining table. Most of them, if not all of them, I take for granted.
Did a dining table represent anything to Jesus? I would imagine so considering His time spent around one and plethora of meal analogies! Think about how he reclined with the tax collector’s and sinners (Mark 2:15), fed 5,000 while He taught (Matt. 14:13-21), ate His last supper with His Disciples (Matt. 26:26-29). Think about the parable of the wedding feast (Matt. 22:1-14), the symbol of the bread and wine as Jesus’ body broken and blood poured out for all as the New Covenant (Matt. 26:26-29). Clearly, one of Jesus' primary ways of discipling and teaching was at the dining table.
The sacredness of our dining table represents a platform for growth in ourselves, our marriage, friendships, and ultimately the Kingdom of God.
With the busyness of our lives, we can neglect the sacredness of these ordinary moments. Where are you at with this beautiful practice? Do you neglect the sacredness of the dinner table? Does your dinner table hold memories, or just your mail? Is your dinner table a means for community, or contempt? Discipleship, or decoration?
Maybe your saying, “You don’t understand. My kids have soccer practice 3 times a week. We have small group on Tuesday, worship practice on Thursday, under water basket weaving on Friday, ostrich egg collecting all day on Saturday, and of course church on Sunday.” I get it, you’re busy. But, busyness should never be the idol that replaces the sacred. You have to make the decision to find those windows of time to invest this beautiful practice into your week. Have a family night. Have a game night. Find ways to implement Christ into your conversations. This can happen by asking to simple questions. 1) What is God speaking to you? 2) What are you doing about it?
Make the practice of using your dining table a priority. Declare your dining table ordinarily sacred. More memories, more community, more discipleship.