12 August, 2022

The Family Table

by | 18 July, 2022

By Manndi Maphies Wilkins

Some families still gather around the dinner table at the end of a long, hard day to break bread together. It’s a time when children excitedly share what happened at school, dads talk about their days, and moms stay apprised of the latest happenings in everyone’s lives. The dinner table is a symbol of family unity. It’s a place to talk, laugh, and cry. 

In much the same way, Jesus gathered with his disciples around a table at the Last Supper. While Jesus knew what was to come, his disciples did not. Of the many enlightening discussions Jesus surely had with his disciples during shared meals, one of the most important lessons he ever taught them occurred during their final meal together in that upper room.  

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me’” (Luke 22:19). 

The disciples likely did not fully realize the metaphorical significance of the rich wine they drank and the warm bread they ate that night. It wasn’t until Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection that the meal’s full meaning was revealed.  

As a body of believers, we come together like the disciples. We are a family of friends, husbands, wives, widows, singles, young adults, and children. We are a family of sinners. The difference between our gatherings is we are looking back at the high price Jesus paid for our shortcomings. We commune together, bonded by the understanding that Jesus bought our freedom by paying for our sins on the cross.  

We eat the bread, which represents Christ’s body. We sip the juice, which represents his blood, shed for the forgiveness of our sins.  

Lord, thank you that we, as a family of believers, can gather to remember your Son and the sacrifice he made to ensure our place at your divine family table.  

Manndi Maphies Wilkins works for the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Pharmacy. She is also a freelance writer. 

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