I recently read a couple of articles discussing the importance of families eating together. A family that eats together has better nutrition and the girls have fewer eating disorders. The children do better at school. They develop better language skills. They are less likely to take drugs, smoke, or drink. Eating together, especially the evening meal, helps maintain accountability. It is a “check-in time” which fosters a sense of togetherness. (www.sixwise.com)
“Dinnertime should be treated like a reunion, a respite from the outside world, a moment of strengthening relationships, and a pleasant experience that should always be cherished,” Ron Afable, “Eating Together as a Family, www.adam.org.
When I read that last quote I was stunned. Was he talking about family dinnertime or the Lord’s Supper? God tells us we are to have this meal when we are “gathered together,” not each in his own home. The reasons are precisely those reasons. When I walk into the church’s gathering place I should have a feeling of relief, a “Whew! I made it!” moment. This is my haven; these people are my support group; this is where I gather the strength to face another week of trials and temptations. Is it any wonder God chose something that was part of a family meal to celebrate our one-ness with Him, with our Savior, and with each other?
The denominational world says that having this meal as often as the first Christians did—every Sunday—makes it less special, yet what does the world say about families having meals together on a regular basis? Surely that applies here as well. We are better nourished spiritually, we grow in the knowledge of the Word, we sin less because of the accountability regular meetings require, and we develop stronger relationships with one another. Funny how God knew what He was doing, isn’t it?
We often say that we should forget the outside world during this special time, but more than that, we should remember our “inside world”--our bond with one another. Disagreements should melt away. Aggravations with others should be covered by our love. Personality problems should take the place they deserve—the bottom of the barrel. To do otherwise is to make a mockery of the feast, and “drink damnation to ourselves.”
Our Father calls us to this special suppertime to reunite, to rest and recover, and to remember who we are and how we got here. This special dinnertime should always be cherished. Don’t make a habit of missing it.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ; the bread which we break, is it not a communion with the blood of Christ? Seeing that we who are many are one bread, one body, for we all partake of the one bread, 1 Cor 10:16,17.