Lingering at the Table

One of my favorite memories as a child is going to my Grandma & Grandpa York’s for a family gathering. Grandma, Mom, and all her sisters/sisters-in-law would be in the kitchen preparing the meal.  They filled the kitchen with talk, laughter, and love. As the family gathered around the table for the meal, the talk, laughter and love continued. When the meal was over many would linger around the table to continue the fellowship of family. I felt so loved and happy.

Mother carried this tradition of gathering around the table to our home. Mom was a wonderful cook and never turned anyone away from our table. When the meal was done, dishes cleared, some would linger around the table, sometimes for many hours, sharing stories, life, laughter, and love.  This love and fellowship of family was the very fiber that held our family together.

When I had a family of my own, we gathered around the table, no tv, no radio, no phones, and shared our day, what was happening in the world, school…it was a time to connect with the boys in our busy lives.  I wish we had lingered more, longer, with them. Now when we are with our boys, I love to cook for them, then sit and talk while sharing the meal, lingering to laugh, tell stories, and love.

Some of the best times are breaking bread with friends.  Good friends, good food, good times.  The opportunity to linger, slow down, connect, check in, exhale.

This breaking bread with family and friends is a priceless time to nourish ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Are we being Martha; there is work to be done, or are we being Mary; pausing to listen and invest in those gathered around the table?  Are we lingering and really listening to those whom we love and care about?

Each week as I take Communion, I linger in prayer thankful for the love, rest, and safety I find there with Christ. I want to take that communion and intimate fellowship to my family and friends as we gather to break bread, to linger at the table and know the love He offers us.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 (NIV)
“A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.  This too, I see is from the hand of God.”