Henri Nouwen: Share a meal together

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Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

“We all need to eat and drink to stay alive. But having a meal is more than eating and drinking. It is celebrating the gifts of life we share. A meal together is one of the most intimate and sacred human events. Around the table we become vulnerable, filling one another’s plates and cups and encouraging one an- other to eat and drink. Much more happens at a meal than satisfying hunger and quenching thirst. Around the table we become family, friends, community, yes, a body. That is why it is so important to “set” the table. Flowers, candles, colorful napkins all help us to say to one another, “This is a very special time for us, let’s enjoy it!”

Henri Nouwen in Break for the Journey (New York: HarperOne, 2006) reading for 15 February.

There are few things more special than having meals with people. It is one of the things I have missed most during the lockdown times and limited interaction periods of the pandemic. It’s a sacred context for Jesus. Remember, He told us to remember Him in a meal.

When Jesus sent the disciples out, He instructed them to eat what people put in front of them. Why? Food brings us together. I have found this to be true in my global travels. We talk and get to know each other over food. We laugh and tell stories. We celebrate God’s faithfulness together.

Share a meal with someone in the near future and make it special. Maybe dress up and go to a sit-down restaurant? Order take out, or perhaps eat at home with nice flowers on the table? Cherish the fact that when we do this, we become the family, friends, commmunity, and body of Christ.