Something happened in the story that is depicted in Da Vinci’s, The Last Supper. As Jesus spent his final hours before being arrested, he chose to celebrate a meal with his closest friends. We all may or may not know the story surrounding it, but I’m really interested in the fact of the meal itself. Jesus chose the place that all must nourish the body to institute something sacred in the midst of the ordinary. He made sharing food, gathering to a table, a holy thing, an intimate event, and a time to be protected. A time to connect, to relax, to converse, to learn, to teach. He infused meaning into something we all must do every day: eat.
There seems to be something special about a meal shared around the table. Whether it’s a simple Saturday morning breakfast in your pajamas or an all out Thanksgiving feast, there is a quality to that time spent together that isn’t quite the same in any other setting. There is an inherent intimacy that we miss when we opt to eat with our TV trays, allowing our favorite Netflix shows to pacify and distract while we miss connection with those on the couch beside us. What if we left the TV’s off, the phones in another room, and learned to reengage the people in our lives with eye contact, conversation, and “could you please pass the salt and pepper?”
It’s an intimate thing to share your table with another. The posture involved in inviting friends to a meal at your house is fundamentally an abundant one. It seems to me an act of trust and friendship, allowing others inside the place you call home. This sanctum where you sleep, eat, rest, and provide security to your family. I appreciate the gesture more than I typically express in the moment when I get to visit, but the gravity of the occasion is not easily lost on me. I feel a different kind of connection with a friend once I’ve seen how they arrange their lives and belongings. To say nothing of the abundance mentality that calls them to share of their pantries and refrigerators, the food that could go to nourish themselves and their closest love ones. I’m truly grateful to receive such a gift and to offer in return my best in genuine interest and conversation.
Eating is ordinary. All I’d like to suggest to you is that you strip away those distractions that would pull you away from that something sacred that happens between people sharing a meal. Invite friends, family, coworkers to your home and share of your self. Accept invitations to visit theirs. Choose the table instead of the couch. Choose connection instead of distraction. When conversation flows, laughter rings out, and stories are shared, here is what it’s like to be human.