Around the Dinner Table
I have found that sitting around the dinner table with my family is a great place to engage in our disciplemaking journey together. It is a great place for us as parents to share with our kids what we are learning in our relationship with Jesus, to say, “Today, I read this in the the Bible, and it really encouraged my heart, and I want to share with you,” and then ask them to share how they see the passage impacting their life.
In the book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, author Ann Spangler shares these important truths about the value of the sitting around the table together that were present in Jesus’ day:
- God is present at the table.
- Community is essential and should be celebrated as a family.
- The table is a place of spiritual growth and worship.
In a Jewish home, the table is considered the family altar, and the home is called mikdash meyat, which means “little sanctuary where God dwells.” We need to remember that our home and table are just as sacred as the church or temple. God dwells in our home, and so as we live life together with each other and God, we can have sacred moments around our home and table. Shouldn’t we all make time in our busy days and lives to stop each day and restore our families’ perspective and spend time together in order to celebrate our relationship with Jesus and each other?
Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Our table is a scared place where we gather together; don’t waste it. As you prepare your food to eat, take a moment and pray and prepare spiritually. Don’t miss these moments to grow together spiritually on your disciple-making journey.
- Pray as you prepare the food, that God would prompt questions and sharing around the table. Pray for peace and pure attitudes around the table and a sacred moment. Pray that He would protect your table from Satan causing disunity.
- Start small. Read a short scripture passage and pray it back to God. Share one verse and talk about it. Share one story and talk about it. Share a current event and relate it to scripture and pray about it. Share a five-minute update on how you are growing in your walk with God. Ask your kids how God is messing with them. Don’t try overwhelming them at the beginning. Be patient and let it grow.
- Ask questions and listen, so you are growing and creating a mutual conversation with them. Don’t let it become you talking to them every night. I am amazed at how my kids help me grow spiritually with their insight on scripture and life. Don’t miss listening to them.
- Celebrate your time after you are done with dessert. It should be a celebration to spend time with God and each other. (Thanks to Jim and Jackie Kohl for this idea.) You can’t go wrong with God and Oreos!
by Ron Kirkeeng, Pastor of Student Ministries and Outreach Ministries