This is the second post in a series on table fellowship.
Beauty is defined as a pleasing quality associated with harmony, excellence of craftsmanship, a quality that is most effective or gratifying. The table can be characterized by each of these things.
Gathering around a table with friends or family promotes harmony, as food is passed around, stories are shared, and social skills are learned and sharpened. It is at table that real communication happens, and it is there that people get to know each other. Folks who gather around a table on a regular basis tend to be more accepting of each other, and more gracious. One of the ways Jesus showed his identification with the least of these was joining them for meals.
One of the joys of life is sitting down at a table that has been carefully prepared with lovingly crafted dishes. Whether the food is gourmet or "country style," served on fine china or paper plates, the craftsmanship of a well put-together meal is evident. If it's a large banquet, a family meal, or a group of friends at a barbecue, a meal is a thing of beauty if it is done with care and creativity.
Table fellowship can be very effective and immensely gratifying. Breaking bread together was one of the more important aspects of the life of the early church. Gathering at meals was so important that one of the things involved in church discipline was exclusion from the table. In my own experience, the times I have been challenged the most, the times I have felt loved and accepted the most, have been times when I have studied Scripture or just hung out with folks with whom I have just shared a meal, a cup of coffee, or a pint. Those are the times that have been most effective and gratifying in my journey.
It's been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That may be true, but I know that when I am gathering with friends or family around a table, I am in the midst of beauty.
Table As Goodness
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