One of the last things Jesus did before his death was sit down for one last meal with his disciples. Clearly, Jesus saw the value of fellowship around the table.
The Early Church followed Jesus’ example and committed themselves to fellowship in Acts 2:42-49:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
In addition to enjoying fellowship with one another, this passage makes it clear that the community of the Early Church produced a lot of fruit for the kingdom. Their fellowship compelled them to be generous, to have glad and sincere hearts, to enjoy the favor of all people and to increase in number daily.
Make Space for Community
As Jesus’ followers, we too need to set aside time in our busy schedules for the table. When we sit down and break bread together, we create space for the sacred to enter into our lives and our community.
Gathering around the table together can be an intentional effort to create conversations that build community and foster our Christian growth. We pray together, share the joys and challenges of our day and hopefully point one another toward Christ.
Fellowship Reminds Us of the Gospel
In addition to making space for fellowship, routinely congregating around the table should also remind us of the gospel. The most common way of opening a meal is with the Lord’s Prayer. The words “give us this day our daily bread,” should be a daily remembrance of the grace of God. With His bread of life and His blood, Christ sustains us.
Best-selling author, Shauna Niequist, writes about the beauty of worshiping around a table together in her book, “Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around The Table”:
The building blocks of the most common meal —the bread and the wine—are reminders to us: “He’s here! God is here, and he’s good.” Every time we eat, every time we gather, every time the table is filled: He’s here. He’s here, and he is good.”
Schedule Time for the Table
Our response should be to fight for time to gather and worship God around the table. This can be especially difficult in a culture that tries to tell us that being busy is what makes our life productive and significant. Be conscious of this lie; make your schedule revolve around worshiping God, don’t revolve your worship of God around your schedule.
As you open up your agenda or pull up your iCal app today, pause for a moment. Check that you have allocated enough time in your schedule to spend time around the table with those you love. Follow Christ’s example and use those moments to praise the Lord and remember together what God has done.