Call – Opelika-Auburn News
Eating at a table
together strengthens relationships
Some say the wheel is the greatest of
all inventions. That may be true but I believe the invention of the table ranks
in the top ten. A table where two or more people can sit and eat is surely a
My love of tables began in my
childhood. My earliest and most cherished memories have to do with eating at a
table with my siblings and my parents. Daddy built what we called “the
breakfast table” with his own hands and it is one of my most prized
There was a place for each of us at
the table. We sat at the same place at every meal. And we never began eating
until Daddy had prayed the only prayer I ever heard him pray: “Bless, O Lord,
this food to our use and ourselves to thy service. Amen.”
We were taught the habit of washing
our hands before meals. And you dared not sit down at Daddy’s table with a cap
on your head. Daddy did not waste words about the cap. He would simply slap it
off your head. The sting of that abrupt removal would help you remember not to
wear your cap to the table again.
Lest you judge Daddy too harshly let
me tell you that my siblings and I came to be thankful for Daddy’s stern ways.
He taught us to respect the rules of the house. He gave us a sense of reverence
for the table, for family mealtimes and for the food we shared. Looking back, I
realize now that for Daddy there was something sacred about sitting at the
table and sharing a meal as a family.
The table has a prominent place in the
Bible. The Psalmist David spoke tenderly of how the Lord had prepared a table
before him “in the presence of his enemies.” Jesus sat at tables with sinners
to demonstrate his acceptance of them.
Then there is the table in the upper
room where Jesus sat and ate “the last supper” with his disciples the night
before his crucifixion. Ever since that time his followers have gathered around
a table, a communion table, to share the Eucharist or the holy meal.
During this holy season the table in
our home is beautifully decorated with candles and Christmas colors. In fact,
my wife set up four tables this week so that we could entertain her beloved
Sunday school class for lunch. The food was great but greater still was the
fellowship we enjoyed with about 25 dear Christian friends.
We talked and ate, had coffee and
cake, and sang Christmas carols with Dot Nichols playing the piano. Dot is only
90 but she can still play and we love to hear her play. I don’t remember what
we talked about but what matters is that we talked and listened and cared about
one another. We enjoyed being alive and being together.
Life is the fast lane is exciting for
the young but for those of us in the golden years there are few things more
satisfying than gathering around a table to share a meal with friends. Surely
friendships are strengthened – and family relationships as well – when we put
our feet under a table and take the time to enjoy good food and good
The table – what a great invention! +