They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Acts 2:46
Jesus’ last meal in the upper room with His disciples certainly stands in sharp contrast to our typical dinners together in the family. However, looking at the regular gathering of the early Christians for meals gives us reason to reflect further on our dinner talk.
What do you talk about around the dinner table? Sports, the weather, newspaper headlines about strikes or international tensions, parking problems downtown, your grocery list? Perhaps what you say is less important than how and why you say it. The evening meal may provide the only opportunity all day for your whole family to gather together. You can share with each other and show that you really care about one another and about the problems of each individual.
The meal can either draw you closer together or split you into warring factions. If you eat in silence, you may build a barrier of distrust and disinterest. If you make supper a gripe session, you gradually fray nerves and create tension. If you talk only about senseless, superficial things, you may never really get to know the members of your own family.
The early Christian community used to capitalize on meals together. They took the opportunity to build each other up. They could laugh together and talk about common problems. They could even talk freely about their faith in Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen One who had changed their lives. As Paul suggests, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
What will you talk about around the dinner table?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, grace our table with Your holy presence. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)
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