Inviting others into our homes to eat and connect around the table is a common Biblical theme we see depicted throughout scripture and an essential aspect of the Christian life that not only nourishes our bodies but our souls as well.
As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Luke 24:30
When we read through scripture and see Jesus repeating a common act over and over again I think it’s important to stop and take note. The act I’m referring to is breaking bread around the dinner table. Jesus spent a lot of time in other people’s homes eating, reclining, teaching, and enjoying community (Luke 5:29). And I believe, that if he had a permanent residence during this point in his ministry, his door would have been wide open and the invitations flowing to all kinds.
We find in the Gospels Jesus eating with his disciples and also with those who were vastly different from himself (Matthew 9:10). In fact, he was so frequently gathered around someone’s table that he developed a notorious reputation for breaking bread with those who were deemed rejected and unacceptable by society (Matthew 11:19). In the Bible, feasting and eating are common concepts we see from Genesis to Revelation. Breaking bread is a huge part of celebrating and in the act of communion, but it is also a common part of everyday life. Jesus models this effective way of reaching those around him by simply taking time out of his busy schedule to eat, relax, and enjoy some company around the table with others.
One of the richest and most eye opening moments of my life was spending a summer abroad in Italy. Every night this large group of college kids would eat dinner at the local Tuscan trattoria around old, rustic farm tables. At first, I couldn’t believe how long dinner lasted. Course after course was served throughout the night until we finally reached dessert- usually by midnight. I soon discovered that this was it. Dinner was always intended to be the main event every, single, day. However, by the end of summer I had grown to love this sweet, slow time of eating and communing with this eclectic group of twentysomethings. I not only grew closer to people I was already friends with, but I got to know people outside of my normal friend group that I may have never known otherwise. It was a rude awakening when I came back home to grab and go 30 minute t.v. dinners. I truly learned the value of an Italian culture’s love for taking the time to break bread and fellowship over a delicious meal. I believe Jesus values this way of connecting with community as well from the life he lived and modeled for us.
When thinking about breaking bread, who do you feel like God is calling you to open up your home with? Who can you invite over to know better or simply enjoy a meal with? It doesn’t have to be fancy, or big, or even top notch restaurant quality… all you need is a table, a meal, and an open door.
Lord Jesus, every step of your life was intentional and spirit led. You always did whatever you saw the Father doing. I love that you saw the Father eating and enjoying fellowship. I pray I’d be intentional in my daily efforts, as you were, to gather around the table with not only your closest friends, but also the ones who needed your time and love the most. I pray I’d be led by your spirit to open the doors of my house and invite those you are calling me to love and serve graciously with an open heart and the sweet presence of your love. Amen.