“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:9-11 ESV)
What do you remember from your youth? I fondly remember evening meals around our kitchen table when I was growing up near Chicago. Every meal started with grace, and then we dug into whatever Mom had prepared. We also dug into conversation. Most of our chit-chat was of the mundane variety. But you know, that’s when God did some of His best work for me and our family. Today, I’m so thankful for those family meal times. I’m thankful because those meals taught me some basic like skills.
For example, during most of my childhood we had only one car. That might sound shocking to some young people, but families had just one car back then. I remember mom and dad talking at supper about what had to be done the next day. Who would use the car, and when? You know what they were doing. They were communicating! Today, marriage and family counselors are making big bucks telling us how important talking to each other is. I’m thankful I learned this valuable skill the cheap way: I learned it watching mom and dad communicate over dinner.
This was an important way for Jesus to communicate too, wasn’t it? He’d get together at some local’s house, sit down, and break bread with his newfound friends—and then He’d share His thoughts. Oh, what conversations those must have been! It’s the way God works, isn’t it? It’s the routine times in our lives—the carpool chatter, the talk between parents watching their kids play soccer, the banter at the dinner table—when we can take a moment and share God’s love.
Let your kitchen table be a place where you regularly pass the good word from God. What St. Peter wrote to first-century Christians applies to our homes as well. “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8 ESV). Dinnertime is an excellent opportunity for us to come together. Sometimes it’s between passing the meatloaf and scooping the mashed potatoes that the day’s biggest events are talked about. And sometimes that’s when the moment is perfect to share God’s Words of forgiveness and the hope we all have in Jesus.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach us to see all the moments of our lives, dinnertime included, as a chance to share Your love with others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
From the message, “Please, Pass the Good Word,” by Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. How’s the talk around your dinner table—”mum’s the word,” lots of clanking, pretty hearty?
2. Would you have enjoyed having dinner with Jesus? What do you think that would have been like?
3. How can you make your family’s dinnertime more profitable in respect to sharing and getting to know each other?