“You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat: So I did sit and eat.”
To practice Christian meditation literally means “to chew upon” a Scriptural text as one would savour a delicious mouthful of food. How can you develop a weekly rhythm as a Jesus follower of “chewing upon the Bread of Life?” One method involves the spiritual practice of “Lectio Divina: Sacred Reading”, a simple way to slowly open your heart to the Living Word of God alive within the Scriptures. Experiment with face-to-face moments each week (whether in person, or via FaceTime) where you are chewing on the weekly liturgy with someone else in our community.
The liturgy for July/Aug 2015 is as follows:
“A family is a group of people who eat the same thing for dinner.” (Nora Ephron)
It is significant that Peter’s restoration as a friend and future leader of the first community of Christians takes place while sharing breakfast with Jesus. Have you ever noticed this? The gospel of John culminates with a poignant, intimate scene between friends who love each other deeply, with the resurrected Jesus cooking breakfast, reconciliation with one of his closest allies on his heart. “When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread…Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord.” (John 21:9,12). Perhaps Christ’s example can motivate us to intentionally welcome someone we love, but with whom relationship has been broken, to join us at the table again. You would be amazed at how healing this simple invitation can be. Invite a friend to share a table with you, using the spiritual practice of “Imagining the Text: Ignatian Contemplation” to imaginatively enter into the scene of John 21:1-14.
sobremesa noun : the time spent around the table after lunch or dinner, talking to the people you shared the meal with; time to digest and savour both food and friendship.
(Spanish noun, literally ‘over the table’)
My wife is often horrified at the speed by which I inhale dinner. We have largely topped sharing food due to this discourteous tendency of mine, and have often had conversations about whether I was raised amongst a pack of rabid wolves, raw meat thrown out the window for the taking. While an embarrassing majority of the male population likely shares my affinity for the quick consumption of copious amounts of food, the longer I share a table with my wife and laughter, the slower I desire to eat. Perhaps this is due in part to learning how to cook and enjoy food as it was intended (I finally prefer steak medium rare, thanks to my father-in-law!), but I’m realising that a greater longing stems from wanting to linger around a common space, creating sacred moments for my family to connect. Currently, this “table” is usually formed in the kitchen, an informal gathering where our 15 month-old daughter can make a mess, and my wife and I can attempt to eat on footstools next to her while the food is still hot. Our Scottish terrier Wally hovers below, the vacuum of the Kamalski family. It isn’t ideal, nor lasts very long, but there’s something sacred and inviting about this growing routine among us. Time and space to connect, however informal or “out of place” – this is the meaning of the table in a family’s home.