There is something so magical and special about a birthday, anniversary, wedding or celebration. It is all about gathering around a table and sharing a meal together.
I love hosting a fun party. That’s why I am SO excited for the Living Table Cookbook by Abby Turner. Not only is it filled with encouraging devotionals and content but there are delicious recipes, boards, and spreads.
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What Is Fellowship in the Bible?
Before I dive in, I want to talk about why table fellowship is important. God desires for connection and community for his people. We have a God who designed us to not only crave connection with others but with himself.
“God gives us the incredible privilege of witnessing how building a God-centered community points people back to Him. And community, in its truest form, puts the gospel and the character of God on display.” The Living Table, Abby Turner.
In Matthew, we see that Jesus didn’t perfectly plan out the guestlist for who was going to be at his table. He invited all, including the tax collectors and the sinners, to eat with him. What a beautiful picture of inclusiveness. He created a place for the broken and sinners to feel a sense of connection and belonging. He truly loved each person at the table and shared His message with them.
“Being in community provides the opportunity to love people like Jesus loved us (John 15:12).” The Living Table, Abby Turner
What is the significance of eating together in the Bible?
In the Bible, we see that Jesus used the table throughout His ministry. He loved coming together and enjoying food around a table. It was an opportunity for him to share in fellowship and bring the Gospel to his neighbors.
This is why I LOVE this book because one of my husband and I’s core values is hospitality. We wanted a home with a sizable backyard specifically to invite people over and share the love of Jesus. We believe that the “dinner table” can be one of the most important mission opportunities. In such a time that is tech-saturated and distanced from meaningful connection, we feel the need to recreate table fellowship through a slow meal around a table with people we care about.
What does Jesus feed us at his table?
We see in Matthew 26 before Jesus was taken away to be crucified, he had a meal (the Last Supper) with his disciples. He knew full well what was coming but wanted to spend the last night breaking bread in community.
Jesus feeds us the ultimate source of spiritual nourishment. Jesus himself is the “bread of life” and is all we truly need. At the table, He gives us spiritual food and living water. Each time we break bread at the table, Jesus wants to remind us that He is with us. It is a sign of his unconditional love that we should, out of abundance, pour into others. And it will fulfill and satisfy you more than physical food ever could.
The Living Table
We are called to love God and love others. The best place to start is in the kitchen!
As you are creating recipes in the kitchen, you can also create connections and show hospitality to others. Each chapter starts off with an inspirational devotion and some “food for thought” self-reflection questions.
The Living Table takes out the hassle of trying to figure out what to make. You will have plenty of recipes and ideas to integrate eating together. The majority of recipes take under an hour – and they are all foolproof.
We need to recover the importance of gathering around the table for the purpose of enjoying a meal together as a gift of love and grace. These meals do not have to be lavish. So there is no excuse to not open up your home and invite people into table fellowship.
My personal favorite recipes are the:
- Coffee Cake Knots: Coffee cake is a birthday tradition in my husband’s family. His birthday is in July and I can’t wait to whip up these poppable treats!
- Kitchen Sink Trail Mix: This is a perfect bonding opportunity for a bible study at your home. Ask each guest to bring 1 cup of their favorite small snack. When they come over they get to add their favorite snack to the trail mix.
- Breakfast Board: This one has me excited for my next ladies’ brunch. Let’s be honest there is nothing better than gathering together over a grazing board. It has something for everyone – roasted breakfast potatoes, smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese, fruit, and more! Keep in mind it’s all about spending time together rather than having the perfect spread.
- Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet: This recipe is perfect for a spin on Taco Tuesday or to serve as part of a meal train. Kids and adults are sure to both enjoy it!
- Harvest Salad: I love a good salad. Honestly, this one can be made all year round.
Prayer for Table Fellowship
Is God calling you to dust off your table and open your home? Pray about who God will have you invite!
“We need to take time in prayer, spend time in His Word, and be in community with His people so we can encourage one another.” – The Living Table, Abby Turner.
“Dear God, thank you so much for sending your Son who shows us the greatest example of table fellowship. I am ready and willing to listen to you knowing that you will help provide along the way. Help me to see your joy and goodness that comes from doing life with others. Open up my heart and home to share the Gospel. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
God designed us to be together. These simple meals around the table will bring you closer to God and make friendships that will last a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Grab a copy of the Living Table, invite your girlfriends over and celebrate!