February 26, 2023
Message Big Idea
Tables are places to eat, connect, laugh, cry, pray, and be human. Most of all, tables are a place to belong and feel included. “Table fellowship” doesn’t often make the list of the classical spiritual disciplines. But in the midst of a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way with regard to matters of both food and the soul, Christian spirituality has something important to say about the way that sharing a meal together nourishes us both physically and spiritually. We need a recovery of the spiritual significance of what we eat, where we eat, and with whom we eat.
Note: While the message this weekend was geared to families, there is a message for all of us here in regard to fellowship, relationships, and community. Expect God to meet you where you are at!
- What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
- Share what a typical meal looks like in your home. Is it chaos or crickets (or somewhere in-between)?
- As a group, discuss your thoughts and recollections of the weekend message. What part(s) of the message impact you the most?
- Read aloud Matthew’s account of the Last Supper in Matthew 26:17-30. Why do you think Jesus waited for a celebration meal to describe to his disciples what would happen next? In John’s account (John 13), Jesus also washed the feet of his disciples as they entered. How did this example of servanthood make the last supper even more powerful and transformational?
- You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to see that the Scriptures present eating as a pretty big deal to God. And therefore it should be a big deal to us. When the Israelites escaped from Egypt, what did they do? They instituted a meal that would be observed annually. When the prophets spoke of the coming kingdom, how did they describe it? As a feast of rich food and aged wine. On the final night of his earthly life, what did Jesus do? He shared a meal with his disciples. When the early church gathered, what was one of their core activities? The breaking of bread. And these examples hardly scratch the surface of what the Bible has to say. What does this suggest about the importance of the table?
- In the book, the “liturgical lens” is the idea of having the eyes to see the spiritual worship bound up in a habit we didn’t think was all that spiritual at all. How might the “liturgical lens” hep you see the spirituality of your normal household life?
- Do you have any games or questions you use at the dinner table, or that you grew up with? If so, share with the group some of your favorites.
- How often do you have a friend or guest over for dinner? (Or join others at their table). Has it become a burden because the house has to be spotless? What would it take to start some rhythm of hospitality? Share with the group.
Live It Out
- What is one thing God seems to be asking you to do in response to this passage? (i.e., “I will ….”)
- Who can you tell about this “I will” statement in the next 48 hours?
- Journal about your time in God’s Word this week. Stop to listen to what He might be telling you. Celebrate His presence through His Word.