I must admit to loving large family gatherings which always seem to include sharing a meal. Unfortunately, the distance between family members has made it seemingly almost impossible to accomplish this today for my family. I really miss those sweet times, but am thankful for each and every memory of being together.
This is one of my favorite Rockwell paintings. My family never captured this scene, but we had our own version of traditional holiday meals. What you do not see in this painting, but I can almost guarantee went on, was the jockeying for position, over loaded plates, fussy eaters pouting, and rush through the meal before the football games started on television. No matter, my memories are still sweet and we were still together.
I will never forget the year my mother announced she was done hosting the family dinners. It is a LOT of work and she was not much of a cook. How easy it is to bring a dish or two and enjoy the feast. It is another thing entirely to host the get together. Sweet grandma in the picture above is facing an afternoon of cleaning up what took days to prepare and minutes to consume. There comes a time when the mantle of hosting gets passed along. If no one will assume the responsibility, the dinner sadly goes away. The wonderful tradition of celebrating family as we eat together is yet one more casualty of a far too busy world.
Maundy Thursday is being celebrated by the Christian church today. We are painted the picture of the scene in The Word. Jesus and His disciples all sitting around the table and sharing a meal. In His teaching that night, Jesus broke bread and shared the cup with His followers. He then asked that we continue this tradition--a shared time of remembering what Jesus did for His family. Jesus' final teaching included asking that we not forget to gather together to celebrate His victory over death.
Pause and remember today---the man who had the room prepared and the table set; the disciples who prepared the meal as instructed; and those final teachings as Jesus prepared for what was ahead. May we always celebrate Jesus and His victory over death for us. May we always come together and remember as a family-the Family of God.
"For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.
I Corinthians 11:26