He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ (Luke 14:12-14)
One of my kids was recently asked to speak about what it was like growing up in a Christian community. There were a lot of criticisms! However, I was moved when they said sharing meals was one of the things really valued. They remembered always having people at our table, enjoying food together, lots of conversation, arguments, tears and laughter were all exchanged. There is something so ordinary, wholesome and nurturing about celebrating a simple meal with others.
There are so many things I look back at, feel sad about, ambivalent about, and cringe about, to do with professing to be Christian and wanting our children to embrace it … but I can never doubt that amidst the often chaotic process of sharing a meal, God was there.