Because so many of our Special Gathering members were not able to attend my husband’s memorial service on Friday afternoon, we had a short memorial time at Special Gathering on Saturday and then Sunday.  My husband, Frank, taught a Bible class for about ten years at our Melbourne Special Gathering.  His students loved him.  Therefore, on Sunday, our Melbourne members were asked to comment about Frank, sharing a favorite memory.

Our members spoke about the times they remembered the most.  I was a bit surprised.  Several of the members talked about the class he taught.  However, almost all of our members said, “I went to his house to eat.”  His last meal, in fact, was shared with five of our Special Gathering members.  Their van driver lives in Vero but she needed to do some catch-up paper work in Melbourne; and I invited the members to come and eat with us.

After that meal, Frank took a large downturn; and he was not able to eat any longer.

Over the years, I’ve studied the importance in the scriptures regarding the meal.  I touched on this over the years in this blog.  The Bible indicates that there is a bonding that happens at meal time and with the breaking of bread that does not seem to happen at any other time.

The meal plays a significant part in each milestone of developing our Christian faith.  Only mentioning a few, Abraham shared a meal with the Angel of the Lord before receiving the God’s promise to be made a great nation.  The passover was a Seder meal.  The last supper was an important time of communion for Jesus and his disciples.  Even after his resurrection we know of two meals that Jesus shared with his followers.  The last meal was breakfast on the beach and Jesus prepared this meal himself.

I am more and more convinced that to develop a working and compatible relationship with our members and their families, the meal will help.  Several years ago, our executive director, Richard Stimson, decided that we should invite our members to come to our homes and have a meal with them and their families.  We invited each family and spent time with them.  Though it has been years, our parents still bring up how much they appreciated coming to our home.

Of course, inviting people to our homes is not the only way we can create that bond.  Sharing meals is a great benefit of day trips and outings with our members.  Our four-day spiritual retreat Memorial Day weekend andother  camp times create the same mealtime bonding .

God in his infinite wisdom has made the meal a time of pleasure and bonding that melts heart together in a unique way.  Connections are made that last a lifetime.