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posted: 7/10/2014 1:53 PM

Sharing a meal is a special time for family and friends

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By Annettee Budzban

"We have fellowship with one another."

-- 1 John 1:7 (NIV)

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"Do you know anyone who wants to buy a dining room table?" my neighbor asked me as she was getting ready to move. "I don't think many people use them anymore."

A few weeks later, I watched as my neighbor's six dining room chairs, table, and matching hutch sat on the lawn ready to be placed in the moving van. As I stared at the furnishings, I pondered how many meals and hearty conversations may have been shared at that table.

It brings to mind crystal glassware, sterling silver eating utensils, neatly folded napkins, and fine china all strategically placed on a table top covered with a fine linen cloth -- a table set for the perfect meal.

I believe gathering at the table for a meal holds a deeper meaning than just being a simple place to hold our plate, fork and knife.

Jesus ate his last supper at a table in a special dining room surrounded by his 12 disciples. These men were among his closest companions and he loved them dearly. This is where he taught them about Communion.

I wonder how many meals they previously spent together filled with fellowship, laughter, and an exchange of thoughts, ideas and truths before this last one.

Picturing this special meal can give us some insight into the meaning of gathering around the table for our meals.

The heart of sharing a meal isn't in the glamorous table settings or the aroma of tantalizing food. As we pass the food, we show consideration to those next to us. As we share in saying grace and giving thanks, we join together in heart and mind. As we exchange conversation, we get to know each other better and form bonds that cannot easily be broken.

Gathering together for mealtime conversation can cause our relationships to mend and flourish.

Our tables may not be covered with the finest linens, but they can be covered with loving conversations and fellowship that fill our hearts with joy and lasting memories.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach, and nurse. She will be speaking at Panera Bread in Round Lake Beach at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 26. She can be contacted at Annetteebudzban@aol.com or (847) 543-8413.

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