Growing up, these words were, for me, a source of comfort and security. Knowing that when my Mom gave the call for dinner, Dad, Mom, and all my brothers and sisters would be there and there would be food on the table. It wasn't always the most scrumptious meal, and there were some that I did not enjoy(sauerkraut anyone? blegh); that never did, however, take away from the pleasure of dinnertime. So, what is it about dinnertime that's so important that it merits it's own section in our study? First, I believe it is important because of what it provides. Dinnertime provides for more than just our physical hunger, and as fathers we are to provide more than just food and clothing for our families. When, in the beginning, God finished His creation and beheld that it was very good(Gen 1:31), it was more than just the physical that He had provided for; the emotional and spiritual were taken care of also - He had provided Adam a helpmeet, and He Himself would be there, too. Fathers, providing food to eat and a roof to eat under does not fulfill our responsibility; we need to be there also. One of the greatest parts of dinner as a child was knowing that Daddy would be there; if for some reason he couldn't make it, well, it just wasn't the same. Seldom was anything allowed to interrupt our dinnertime. Even the phone was to be ignored while we ate. That is something that I strive to continue today with my family. We were fellowshipping with our father; everything else could wait. It gives a sense that we are important and demonstrates the love our Heavenly Father has for us as He desires to fellowship with us. Remember, it's not about us, but about us showing an accurate picture of Him. The second aspect of the importance of dinner is that it protects. Not just anybody could come and sit down at our table. They had to be invited, they couldn't just show up. There are some who leave an open invitation to drop by anytime, you're welcome to stay for dinner. Not so at my house. If Momma didn't know you were coming, you probably weren't gonna stay. They had to meet the standard. No shirt, no shoes, no service kinda thing. Watch your language cause some things you just don't talk about here. You don't like the rules - there's the door. That was an important principle I learned growing up - you don't change your rules and beliefs just to accommodate someone else. The third and final aspect of the imprtance of dinner is that it promotes. It promotes fellowship, unity, hospitality, kindness, love, honesty; all qualities that must be present if the dinner is going to be as successful as it should be. Ever been to a dinner where there was tension or awkwardness or an uncomfortable silence? If any of the above qualities are lacking, that is what results.
Someday, we will get to finally sit down with our Heavenly Father for a meal that's been thousands of years in the making. And just like the dinnertime I've just described, everything will be provided for; we will be protected from sin and death; and the Lord Jesus Christ will be promoted. What a day that will be! Let's have a little bit of heaven here on earth - Let's make a big deal about dinner!