When I was a child, we ate our Thanksgiving feast at my grandparents’ house. My grandmother brought out her beautiful tablecloths, china, and glass serving bowls. The tables were full of traditional dishes and family staples. The kids ran and played, and the adults laughed and chatted. After the turkey and dressing were eaten and dessert was done, we continued to spend time together as a family.

Although the location has changed, and my mother and aunt now host, the rest of Thanksgiving still feels similar. The house is still beautifully prepared, it is still noisy and filled with people of all ages and sizes. Wonderful aromas drift in from the kitchen, and a sense of celebration is in the air. The atmosphere is full of stories being told and memories being shared. There is always something familiar and always something new. I look forward to these shared family gatherings.

But gathering around a table is about much more than sharing a meal.

One thing I have noticed in the Gospels is all the times when Jesus appeared at a mealtime table during His time on earth.

He called out to a curious Zacchaeus and ate with him. (Luke 19:1-10)

He prepared breakfast for a weary and broken Peter. (John 21:1-17)

He shared a meal with a shamed and desperate Mary. (John 12:1-11)

He welcomed the robbers, the cheaters, and the slanderers to a table with a meal. (Luke 15:1-2, Mark 2:13-17)

He shared a Passover dinner with the disciples as one of his final acts before His crucifixion. (Matthew 26:17–29; Mark 14:12–25; Luke 22:7–38)

It occurred to me that if Jesus saw the power in sharing a table and a meal, maybe I should, too.

There is an opportunity to extend the love of Jesus right from our homes—right at our tables. We can invite our neighbors, our coworkers, and our small group. It does not matter if you create the most spectacular from-scratch feast or order takeout. Humans have an innate desire to gather and connect, and food is the natural vessel that brings people together in our society more than anything else. 

In Matthew 25:35 our Savior says. “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home”.

Perhaps there’s this call to show up to our own dining room tables in love?

With Thanksgiving (and Christmas!) upon us, there’s a wild and glorious opportunity to love others as Jesus did by throwing open our doors and pulling out the chairs of our dining table for the people God has placed around us to love. Imagine the movement that could start, all beginning with the invitation to come and sit and eat.

Let’s not wait. Let’s love others, connecting our hearts with them around the table while being vulnerable and sharing our lives with them. Let’s TABLE IT.