Hymn: “Come, Lord Jesus, Be Our Guest” LSB # 776
Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest and let these gifts to us be blest. Amen.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever (Ps. 106:1b NKJV).

Sound familiar? Yes, these are the words that many parents have taught their children to pray at mealtimes. Perhaps you remember reciting them as a child. They may have been some of the first prayers you taught your children. What a joy it is now to hear our grandchildren recite these very prayers that we taught our children many years ago. We pray that they continue this practice whenever they gather around the table for a meal with family and friends.

The family table … a place to pray, to praise, and to give thanks to the Lord for all His blessings.

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also (2 Tim. 1:5). These are the words Paul wrote to Timothy. Just as Timothy’s grandmother and mother shared their faith in the Lord with him when he was a young child, may we follow their example of sharing God’s Word and our faith in Jesus with our children and grandchildren whenever we have the opportunity. One way to do this is to make time for family devotions at mealtime. This provides a regular time for reading His Word and sharing how it can be applied to our lives each day. If possible, involve your children. They often enjoy taking turns reading the Bible passages, the devotion or prayer.

The family table … a place to share God’s Word and our faith in Him with our children.

A cheerful heart is good medicine (Prov.17:22a). Good times and laughter, that’s what can happen around the family table. Conversation during meals provides family members the opportunity to share the challenges and joys of the day … but it doesn’t have to be serious! As with many other families, laughter has always been a part of mealtimes around our table. In fact, it still is. What a blessing to share those fun times together.

The family table … a place to laugh and share the joys of the day.

The family table is much more than a piece of wood with four legs and some chairs around it. It’s more than just physical nourishment. Whether the table is set for a simple meal or for a special celebration, what counts most is the people around the table, the family and friends who gather together and take time to share a meal. It’s a time to listen and to share because you care. As you gather together at the family table, wherever that may be, may your conversations be seasoned with God’s Word, as well as with prayer and thanksgiving for His bountiful blessings.

Heavenly Father, daily You provide us with so many blessings — food, homes, jobs, our families. Yet so often we take all these things for granted and forget about the Giver, You. Forgive us and help us to be more aware of the many gifts You give us, not because we deserve them, but because You love us. As we gather around the table with family and friends, bless our conversations with each other. May the Holy Spirit guide our words as we share our faith in You with them. In Jesus’ holy and precious name. Amen.

Hymn: “Oh, Blest the House” LSB # 862, verses 2, 3 and 5
All Scripture references are from the NIV unless otherwise indicated.

The Family Table
Written by: Vivian Ernst, Ida Grove, IA
Published by: Lutheran Women’s Missionary League 2010