In a few weeks Easter will be celebrated and families and friends will gather together to honor a risen King; we’ll do so around a sacred family alter: the dining room table.
What is it about holiday celebrations with family and friends or family reunions or covered dish dinners that render us expectant and eager for the next one?
Certainly enjoying the company of those we love plays an important part. Re-connecting spackles the relational chasm created by time and geography’s separation.
Tradition is key, too. Healthy traditions strengthen and bind families, bridge the gap between generations, and pass along family customs.
But if I’m being perfectly honest, I get a teensy-weensy bit (too) excited about the…
f o o d.
I feel shallow admitting that, but maybe, just maybe, sometimes sharing a meal–or even a single dish–is not just Biblical but deeply spiritual.
Several scriptures come to mind about hospitality ~
Some people are naturally hospitable, easily welcoming others into heart and home. But not falling into that category doesn’t release us from God’s imperative to “be hospitable.” I think for those there is extra blessing in doing what doesn’t come easily, especially when the only motive is obedience and to glorify God.
Food and community were threaded together throughout Jesus’ life–a wedding banquet, meals with friends or those others rejected, the Jewish feasts…common meals or celebration, spending time in the company of those He loved.
Two powerful kindnesses extended to my family came through the vehicle of “meal ministry” when I needed help but would never have asked for it–
- Following the birth of each of my children
- After the death of my father
Friends didn’t ask me how they could help, they anticipated my need, scheduled meals and brought them to us.
Never has food tasted so good, a magnificent gift beautifully ribboned and wrapped in love, service and compassion.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…. (1 Peter 4:10)
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:18)
God’s Word astonishes me when I see it living and breathing in bodies of people I know. When they bring me dinner, they’re practically
using their gifts…
serving one another…
faithfully stewarding the grace extended to them
loving in deed!
Some of my favorite recipes have been passed along from family or friends who’ve hosted us or brought us a meal. Every time—every time—I cook that recipe, with fondness and affection I think of the one who shared it (in my best moments I remember to pray for them).
I thought it would be FUN to end this post by hosting an (in)courage virtual covered dish dinner!
Do you have a favorite recipe you initially prepared because someone else cooked that recipe for you? Have you written about it or posted pictures on your blog or Flickr? Please link it below–casserole, side, dessert, whatever! If you don’t have a blog feel free to share your recipe in comments. And remember, (in)courage community takes place when we visit one another, so be generous in commenting to others before and after your link!
By Robin Dance, who blogs at PENSIEVE about all things magically delicious (but not necessarily food).