Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hospitality Around the Dinner Table

Every summer, we vacation in Door County, Wisconsin. My parents have a cabin on Lake Michigan at the 'top of the thumb.' There is not a stoplight or fast food joint for 50 miles. There's very little traffic. It's quiet and peaceful; a wonderful rest for our bodies and souls. Most nights, we gather around my mom's big table for dinner. It is usually fresh-caught white fish, baked potatoes and a huge salad. Those are my favorite times. Sometimes, a cousin or two, friends or aunt will join us. {Both of my parents were raised just north of Chicago. My grandpa built the cabin next to my parents the year I was born. All of my relatives still use this cabin to vacation in every summer. I've been going up there since I was born, so we know ALL the relatives and it is GREAT!}

Once a week, we will go into town and eat at a restaurant. It is fun but it can't compare to eating in a home around a table. In a home, it's not nearly as noisy, you know exactly what is in the food, and someone you love prepared it for you {or if you're the mom, you probably prepared it}. The fellowship is richer and lasts longer. I believe the reason for this is because God commands that we be hospitable and this means to open our homes and feed others. It takes a lot more effort to fix a nourishing meal than to simply spend some money taking them out to a restaurant.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, Your children like olive plants around your table {Psalm 128:3}. This table is the dinner table. The last meal Jesus had was a Passover, around a table, in an upper room of a home. Having meals around a table in a home is important to the Lord so it should be to us also! 

You can use this time to share what you learned that day, strengthen beliefs in the Lord, or just laugh and have a great time. Have a devotion at the end of the meal; you don't want it at the beginning or the food will get cold! Pray together. It is a time to come together as a family and celebrate the food the Lord has provided as well as the loving relationships that He has blessed you with.

For several years, I would fix a meal after church on Sundays and have any family in town and friends over. It was a very special time together. Now, we have everyone over for dinner for any celebration or when some of our out-of-town children are in town. This is my very favorite thing to do! It doesn't have to be fancy or gourmet food. None of my recipes are gourmet, time-consuming or difficult. They are all healthy since I believe food is for nourishing our bodies, not destroying them.

In today's society, there are many who rarely eat a home-cooked meal. They are too busy or never learned to cook so they eat every meal out in a noisy, impersonal restaurant. God's people should not be like this since women are called to be keepers at home and prepare nourishing food for their family.  It is also much more friendly on the budget and healthier for the body and the soul. Begin eating meals around your table and enjoy fellowship with those whom the Lord has blessed you with.

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
1 Peter 4:9