“As they met and ate meals together, He told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but ‘must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from Me. John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon’ ” (Acts 1:4-5, The Message).
Have you ever noticed what happens at the table during a meal with close friends? A relaxed environment creates a place where conversations can go deep quickly.
Jesus knew this, too. We read of a number of significant conversations that took place at the table. For example, He explained the New Covenant around the table during what we have called The Last Supper. At the same meal, Jesus also addressed a betrayer.
Peter was restored by Jesus around the campfire breakfast in John 21; and in many translations and paraphrases, this Acts 1 announcement of the coming Holy Spirit was made during a dinner meal.
An Italian food brand, Barilla, established the project, “Share the Table: The State of Dinnertime in America.” In an article on their website, Dr. William Doherty stated: “The dinner table has long been a central meeting place for family and friends to connect. It provides an opportunity to strengthen bonds among family, friends and communities. There is a strong connection between sharing meals and positive life experiences.”
The following represents some of the findings from the Barilla project:
- Americans ranked “connecting with the people who matter most to you” as the most important benefit of sitting down to the table for a meal, with 96 percent of Americans agreeing to this statement.
- Ninety-six percent of parents with children under 18 in the household agreed that dinnertime gives them an important opportunity to make face-to-face contact with their children, and 92 percent of Americans agreed dinner is one of the few moments in the day where people can slow down and focus on one another.
- Americans believe that regular family mealtimes have benefits for children that are less immediately obvious, such as higher performance in school (82 percent agreed), and children who are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol (80 percent agreed).
- Why don’t we eat together more often?
- Adults’ work schedules (73 percent)
- Lack of time (66 percent)
- Children’s schedules (56 percent)
Busy schedules. Lack of time. And, timing. Interestingly, this is the other point Jesus brought to these disciples during the same dinner conversation.
The disciples were concerned about the timing of the restoration of the kingdom. Seems they were pressing Jesus about it with a militant stance. His answer, paraphrased, was this: “You’re worried about something that is not your business. Wait, stay together, and receive the Holy Spirit.” The fullness of the Holy Spirit was the means by which Jesus would be with them always.
Slow down, and take time for meals with family and friends. God might be saying something life-transforming during dinner!
By: Tammy Dunahoo, Foursquare vice president/general supervisor
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