I like a good meal. The bathroom scale can verify that.
More than eating the actual meal, however, I love the fellowship that mealtime brings.
My cousin Tim has been busy this week posting photos to a family Facebook page. Each photo from events and places I remember evokes feelings and memories and aromas – especially aromas – from times gone past.
In my book, there is nothing better than sitting down with family and friends around a table of home-cooked food, prepared by loving hands and shared over laughter and thoughts and sometimes tall tales.
In God’s book, mealtime is pretty special, too.
I always smile when I think about Jesus gathering some wood on the beach, throwing a few fish on the barbecue, and shouting, “Hey, come eat some breakfast!” to the disciples in John 21.
Isn’t this a great “man moment?” Just the guys, a boat, a fire, and a beach. I can just picture the elbow nudging and camaraderie that took place that morning.
Jesus had a purpose as they sat there in the sand. He wanted to publicly forgive Peter. He could have forgiven Peter in private. Instead, he met the guys down at the beach, cooked them breakfast, and let them in on a few things that were about to take place.
So it also went at The Last Supper. Matthew says Jesus called the Passover a celebration and depicts the Lord reclining at the table with the disciples (NIV). This was no stuffy, formal banquet amongst diplomats. Jesus was reclining! Some interpretations have John actually lying on Jesus’ chest. They eat. Luke recounts unbelievable stories told around that table! The boys shoot the bull, arguing about who is greatest among them. They hear some bad stuff about Peter and Judas. Jesus and the disciples grow closer. And before they leave, they sing a hymn.
God created food to experience. If it weren’t special, God would not have given us such a variety of it. Food is a gift and a blessing, but most of all, it serves a High purpose. Mealtime is a time to draw close in fellowship, with each other and with the God who makes it possible.