Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another Piece of Bread, Please

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and the recognized him... -Luke 24:30 (NIV)

The last two times that I've visited with my mother, we've eaten. The first meal was drive-thru at a fast food restaurant. We were in Columbia and in a hurry to get home. So instead of stopping somewhere and eating, we got it to go.

Yesterday, we opted to stop at a buffet-style restaurant. We went in, sat down, placed our order, and ate across from each another at the table.

Can you guess which meal was more enjoyable? Can you guess which conversation was more meaningful and engaged? The second one, of course. I wasn't worried about driving with one hand and eating with the other. I wasn't as concerned about getting ketchup on my shirt (although I always seem to do it). We could look at each other face-to-face. And we could stay there until we got our fill of food and fellowship.

As I read today's suggested scriptures, I wonder how often we miss Jesus because we're always on the move. The two people walking to Emmaus, when joined by Jesus, didn't recognize him at first. It seems likely that they knew Jesus. Perhaps they had walked with him before his death, heard him speak, or even watched him die. Yet somehow in their haste to get home and in their grief at his death, they did not realize that Jesus was with them.

It was only when they sat down at the table together, when Jesus took bread and broke it, that they realized who he was.

When's the last time that you sat down with your family and/or friends for a meal? Maybe it's been a while. Maybe it happens all the time. If it doesn't happen all the time, why not make time for that today? If on the other hand you do sit down with your family often, try this: when you get ready to eat that piece of bread that almost always accompanies the meal, break it before you eat it. And when you break it, pause to remember that Christ is present at your table. Look for him. Listen for him. It might make such a difference in your mealtime that you'll ask for another piece of bread.

May God grant you the grace to encounter Christ around the dining table today.

Tomorrow's readings: Nehemiah 7-8 and Acts 1.

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