The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told Him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. (Mark 6:30-32, NLT)
Sometimes dinner is more than dinner. It’s not just food for our physical bodies; it can be so much more.
The apostles returned from their first ministry assignment. They were so excited to come back and tell Jesus how incredible their time had been. They breathlessly rushed into the house where Jesus was waiting for them. “Master,” Peter started, “You should have seen how Andrew…” and he was cut short by a new visitor.
Next James tried, “Whoa, it was so cool when we…” and yet another distraction.
Time and time again their stories and questions and concerns were interrupted by the busyness of life and ministry. In fact, it got so chaotic that the disciples couldn’t even eat their food, except in quick gulps between visitors.
Finally Jesus said, “Guys, let’s get out of here. I really want to hear about your ministry. I want to debrief a little with you. And, frankly, we’re all hungry and could use a quiet dinner. Let’s go some place to hang out together.” Now that’s more than a dinner!
Check out the advantages of simply eating together:
- Families who eat dinner together eat healthier.
- Families who eat dinner together have higher communications skills.
- Children in families who eat dinner together perform better academically.
- Children in families who eat dinner together are less likely to try cigarettes, illegal drugs, or alcohol.
I love our family meal times… it is one of the best times to catch up on what’s happening with everyone. Last night we were joined at dinner by a young couple from our church. After dinner, the kids were off playing and Betsy and I could have a quiet conversation just with our friends. We talked about the newlyweds’ adjustment to marriage, what makes a good church, education, career, china patterns, and the way God speaks to us. We laughed and dreamed and talked about dreams. It was fantastic!
Turn off the TV. Make a healthy dinner. Set aside time to eat with family and friends. Jesus gave us a great example: “C’mon, friends, I really want to spend some quiet time with you.”
So here’s to dinners that are more than dinners. Feel free to share your more-than-dinner stories with me.