By Rev. Linda Dolby
How sad for the Doomsday Preppers. Suppose a doomsday did come. They would be all alone with all their supplies while their neighbors searched frantically for something to eat. It’s not good to eat alone. We not only need food for our physical bodies, we also need the joy of sharing a meal for our spiritual well-being. Think of all the happy times you’ve had around the table.
Dr. Cecil Williams, former pastor of Glide United Methodist Church in San Francisco tells this story. He comes from a large family. Various brothers and sisters would be involved in after-school clubs or sports activities. Every night when the family would gather around the table, his father would look around and ask, “Who’s missing?” Then a plate would be prepared and set aside for the missing family member.
Who is missing from our tables? With whom do we share and break bread? Who would we like to be eating with?
A few years ago I was on a Mission Trip to Honduras. We spend 10 days working with members of a church in a very poor neighborhood there. On the last night of our visit, they invited us to stay in their homes. Mariana was my host. When I arrived, Mariana was busy in the kitchen. Then I noticed that neighbors were coming with small empty pots and leaving with steaming full pots.
Mariana was making a special treat for our dinner – tortillas. This was an occasion! So it was that she gladly shared with her neighbors the treat she had prepared for us. I watched it amazement as I enjoyed the friendly laughter and greetings of each other. What I witnessed was true community – people sharing from what they had. And they did so, as the scripture tells us, with glad and generous hearts.