Community is nurtured at the table perhaps more than any other context.
Eating together is key to investing-in our relationships. But not every relationship is equal, and it is worth attending to the question of short- and long-orbits: how frequently do we need to spend time with different people? Core relationships require close living; but we also have – and need to invest in – key acquaintances.
Who do you need to eat with once a week?
once a month?
once a term?
once a year? (years ago I babysat for a couple who hosted an annual meal, around Christmas time, for everyone who had babysat for them over the previous year)
or simply once? (don’t ignore ‘once’ meals simply because they are a one-off event).
Others ways to make room for Jesus at the table include:
giving thanks together;
sharing highs (rejoicing with those who rejoice) and lows (mourning with those who mourn) and needs (praying for one another);
marking feasts and festivals, with appropriate prayers, story-telling, decoration, gift-giving;
Advent: making room for Jesus – at the table.