26 Jul 2020
The pandemic has caused many to revisit the dinner table. There was a time when the dinner table was the center of home life - family gathering, enjoying a sumptuous meal, and listening to and telling fun stories. But now it seems those days are gone. The dinner table is now a decorated place of luxury with elaborate dishes and cutlery for friends to admire. Is this happening in your home?
Now that families are “trapped” in their homes we wonder if the dinner table is being used again! The lack of the dinner table communication today has caused many social problems. Children are getting into all sorts of trouble and it’s never known until the police come knocking at the door. Daughters at 13 are having sex right under their parents nose, sons have a pocket full of condoms. Is this a good time to revisit the dinner table again and put it to it’s proper use?
Today we may hear the phrase ‘my baby did not do that‘ by some parent after their child has been accused of some offense. But how do parents know what children are doing when they cannot remember the last time they dined together at the dinner table? Even Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are burnt by this lack of togetherness. Families come from far and near, but by mealtime, everyone grabs their plate and go to separate corners - the guys to watch football, the ladies to the Mall. Thanksgiving needs to be at the dinner table again!!
It is time, in the ever increasing lawless activity in our society, to bring back the dinner table. Personally, I remember a time when on Friday nights we dressed for dinner. We were not going out, but we would put on our best outfits and head down the hall for dinner. We talked about everything, then afterwards as a family we put on aprons and washed the dishes.
Let’s rediscover the dinner table. Let’s find the unity of the family there. Let’s take the decorated place settings off the table, sit with family and while enjoying a meal, talk to each other and enjoy each other’s company. Defeat the pandemic! For God and our sake, let’s gather at the dinner table again!
++Hartley, Presiding Bishop of the ACW