I belong to a Presbyterian church. What really distinguishes this denomination is that it is governed by “presbyters,” or elders, as we call them today. We’ve also been said to be known by some other characteristics. We’ve been called the “frozen chosen”: you’d never catch a proper Presbyterian pulling King David’s antics when he “danced before the Lord with all his might.” (2 Samuel 6:14). We prefer that “everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” (I Corinthians 14:40).
We have also been accused of subscribing to the philosophy of “no meetin’ without eatin’.” But there is plenty of Biblical precedent for this practice, which our pastor likes to call “table fellowship.” Meals have long been a part of Middle Eastern hospitality, and even today, the sharing of food is considered an act of intimacy and friendship. How many times Jesus shared meals with “sinners and tax collectors” and with his disciples and others. The early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42).
There is something very special about fellowship and the breaking of bread together. How personal and intimate an act it can be to sit with friends and/or family and enjoy the trust and joy of sharing. I find this especially so with my Christian family. I am blessed that the members of my biological family are Christians. But I feel the same intimacy and trust when I sit with fellow members of God’s family, whether related by blood or not. (Though, I like to think we are all related by blood: the blood of Jesus.)
We live in a fallen world and not everyone is blessed to have families who can sup together in harmony. Even within churches, there is not always peace and kindness. But all will be restored when Jesus returns. I love table fellowship. Imagine how wonderful and perfect the fellowship and intimacy will be at the “wedding supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:9) Hallelujah!