“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light;
and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.” Mt 10:27
I have two big memories of happenings around the kitchen table. The first is memories of laughter during food fights. We laughed so hard when one of my brothers threw a handful of mashed potatoes at the wall and they bounced off and hit my other brother’s girlfriend in the face. It was her first time meeting the family and thankfully she laughed too! We laughed when my dad would get out the whipped cream and we would have whipped cream fights. My mom wasn’t too happy about the mess though. The second is memories of tears due to an aversion to meat. I had a lot of fear and anxiety in trying to hide the meat that was served at dinner time. I cried a lot and wasn’t able to tell my parents what was going on inside.
Throughout the years there continued to be many things happen around the kitchen table, mine and others. There have been gatherings of family and friends, conversations about life, meeting new people, building relationships, making plans, sharing stories and of course, eating.
Since I met Jesus, the gatherings around kitchen tables have taken on an even deeper meaning. They have become a place of "koinonia", a place of discipleship, a place of demonstrating the kingdom of God, a place where Jesus is!
The Greek word "koinonia" means fellowship, sharing, unity, close association, partnership, participation, a society, a communion, a fellowship, and contributory help. Koinonia is a unity brought about by Holy Spirit.
If you read the Gospel of Luke you will discover that there are nine dinner episodes (Lk 5:29; 6:36-50; 9:10-17; 10:38-42; 11:38-41; 14:1-24; 19:1-10; 22:14-23; 24:28-35). You will see that Jesus ate with His disciples, followers and friends. He ate with tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes, Pharisees, lawyers, sick people, families and the multitudes. During these dinner episodes there were salvations, healing, devotion to Jesus, miraculous provision and teaching. Jesus taught and demonstrated love, mercy and forgiveness. He taught about priorities. For example, the importance of serving but not making the Lord’s work a priority over His presence. Jesus taught about inner holiness and meeting people's needs vs. rituals and ceremony. He loved people and put their needs first. He rebuked social pride, and taught and demonstrated humility and unselfish motives in doing acts of kindness. He gave His disciples an example of how to remember His redemptive sacrifice and opened eyes to reveal His identity!
In reflecting on my experiences around kitchen tables in more recent years, I have had the joy and blessing of experiencing all that Jesus demonstrated as an example to us of His kingdom coming to earth... around a kitchen table! Recently, I had a week that I will not easily forget. It started with 11 of us gathering around the table for a meal. It became a time of sharing, laughter, tears of joy, encouragement, praise and prayer. I think that Jesus was rejoicing with us that day. The rest of the week was literally gathering daily around the kitchen table with women, some of whom were meeting for the first time. During these meals I witnessed sharing of lives, both victories and challenges and encouragement of one another to a point of tears of joy! These women shared the things Jesus had put in their hearts to accomplish for His glory and prayed for one another and left as sisters and friends. How awesome! My heart was bursting with joy! Only Holy Spirit can bring about that kind of koinonia!
So, my question to you is, “do you have a kitchen table?” If you do, I encourage you to invite people of all kinds to come and share a meal together. Invite people you know, people you don’t know, people who know each other and people who don’t, people who know Jesus and people who don’t, to sit and share a meal around your kitchen table and see what Jesus will do!
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches...” (Rev 2:7)