There is something intimately practical about sharing a meal. I don’t mean anything more than the words say. I am trying to capture what happens when individuals share a practical, part of life, experience. It is as if the food transcends everything else. We know we need it to survive. Inherent in the gathering is, I believe, a subconscious statement of our need for community. We know, regardless of how what we say or do otherwise, we need the fellowship with others. Sharing a meal, any kind of food will do, is a great way to nurture the community we are a part of.
The model was set long ago. The days had stretched on for years. The disciples were still grabbling with what had occurred and what if there was more to the story. The struggle was both personal and corporate. In this context the next meeting was going to be crucial! As they gathered around the morning fire, “Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead.” (John 21.13-14) He knew the experience would help in the process of establishing new paths of dialogue, a fresh foundation of experience, and the potential for hope.
You and I have similar opportunities everyday. Yesterday I shared a meal with an old friend. We talked of values and priorities. We shared stories of the important people in our lives. We grabbled with the struggle to survive in a word where excuses seem to be tolerated and nurtured. The practical catalyst of our community was a shared meal, a simple opportunity to share community.
Meals are just one of the ways we can bring hope, into our life and the lives of those around us. A walk, chance meeting, and even a cup of coffee all present opportunities in which hope can be delivered. In the midst of chaos, be intentional and be practical. It is time; seize the day!
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