Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Come To The Table

John 21:9-10, 12, 13 KJV

“As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.  Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.  Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine!  Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.”

I love this story in the Bible.  The Bread of Life serving nourishment to his tired, hungry disciples.  How precious it must have been that early morning by the Sea of Tiberias, when they came to shore and saw Jesus and heard Him invite them to “Come and Dine”!  Meal times are some of my favorite times in our home.  Especially, when I am finished cooking, everything is all on the table, and I can yell from the kitchen “It’s ready.  Come to the table.”  It usually doesn’t take long for my sweet husband and our little boy to show up around the corner of the dining room, hungry and ready to eat.  We sit and eat together and there…at our dining room table, we have some of our most cherished talks.  As we eat, we seem more relaxed and ready to share what is in our hearts.  I think these times are so important, and I find it sad that in our push-button society, families don’t seem to “come to the table” as much as they used to.  Lots of times, they are scattered in different rooms of the house, doing their own things while eating.  Lots of times the mother sits alone at the table, in solitary, deafening silence. 

As Christian wives and mothers, WE have the power in our hands to make all the difference in this area.  I know it takes a lot of time and effort to get everyone rounded up, but the rewards are more far-reaching than we will probably ever realize.  Jesus realized that His disciples were hungry that day, and He took the time and energy to make them a meal to nourish and minister to their physical needs first.  He realized that we can never hope to meet the spiritual needs of others, until we first meet and minister to their physical needs.  He couldn’t get an important truth across to His disciples when their stomachs were growling from hunger. 

After their bellies were full of bread and fish, Jesus took this golden opportunity to TALK to them…to communicate and convey some valuable truths.  To open His heart.  Right after this meal, remember He had that all-important conversation with Peter about “feeding His lambs and His sheep”?  That day marked an indelible memory on Peter’s consciousness.  The Bible tells us that there were seven disciples present there that morning.  I can just imagine that every one of them fondly remembered those moments there around that fire of coals where Jesus had cooked their meal.  Those memories of His love, concern, and compassion may have sustained them through many a dark day, after His ascension. 

Take time to “come to the table” with your family.  Do what it takes to restore that age-old tradition in your home.  Your children will look back on those times, those sacrifices you made to practice togetherness, with the fondest of memories.  Who knows what they will share with you there?  Who knows what lies ahead of them in this present world?  This may be just the stability and comfort they need now and will need to remember later.  Jesus thought it was important; I think we should, too.

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