“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,” – Acts 2:46
Over Christmas break, while visiting family for a funeral, each night we ate together as one big family around a rustic large wooden dining table. It wasn’t the food that made this a warm memory (although the food was good); it was the conversation and limited distractions. We were able to focus on each other. Meals were slow, stories were full, and laughter was abundant.
Traveling back home, my husband and I listened to Playing for Pizza by John Grisham on Audible. In the book a football player ends up playing for an Italian football league. While in Italy he experienced the culture including the long meals filled with fellowship in the evenings. In learning to fellowship with others his character deepens.
Food. Fellowship. There is just something about them.
Last night as our family sat around our little kitchen table, I found myself wanting each conversation topic to linger. I forced a hold on the temptation to get up and start cleaning the dishes as soon as I stopped eating, just so I could cherish the moment with my family. We shared about our day and then the guys started talking about music while the girls poked fun of the guy’s music selections. We laughed. We relaxed. We enjoyed each other’s company.
After dinner, we helped my son pack his car so he could head back to college. The meal time provided an amazing send off. Warm and filled with love.
Family dinners have always been important to us, but somewhere along the way we began to rush the process. Activities cut in, cell phones interfered, and adolescent years tested our emotions. Sitting at the table during Christmas break, though, my heart missed what we were capable of having. Togetherness. Fellowship provides togetherness. Thankfully, I realized we didn’t have to miss it. We just needed to make it happen.
Tonight, even though my son was back at college, the three of us sat down to our table to eat unrushed. Cell phones put away, leisured conversation. We took our time, enjoyed the meal, and enjoyed each other. We talked about our day and then after cleaning up the dinner dishes sat down again to play a game. Each of us wanting to linger a little longer. It isn’t something we can do every evening, so it was special. We are learning our time together is valuable. We need each other. Family fellowship is important.