Today is Thanksgiving in America. I get wished a happy Thanksgiving all the time by well-meaning friends who may not realize other cultures don’t celebrate their holidays. But this Thursday, at Oikos, we are. Even though our team is made up of a handful of Americans, a family from England, and myself, a Canadian, and the rest being Peruvians, we celebrate thanksgiving.
This is not much of a stretch because in our Oikos we eat a meal together up to 6 days of the week. Now that our group has gotten larger, we are eating in two different houses, but today we’ll have up to 40 of us eating Thanksgiving buffet style. That’s because frankly, as a community we seek to take advantage of any excuse to eat together. I touched on this previously in a post about the Lord’s Supper, but I think Frank Viola explains it really well in his book, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity:
“First Corinthians 11 makes clear that the early Christians gathered to eat the Supper as a meal. Some in the church at Corinth weren’t waiting for their brethren to show up to the meeting. The result: Those who ate were full and those who showed up late went hungry. In addition, the Corinthian Christians were getting drunk at the Supper (1 Cor. 11:21–22, 33–34). Now think: Is it possible to get drunk on a thimble of grape juice and satisfy one’s hunger with a bite-sized cracker? The New Testament word for “supper” literally means a dinner, a meal, or a banquet. And the Greek word for “table” refers to a table in which a full meal is spread (Luke 22:14; 1 Cor. 10:21). To the first-century Christians, the Lord’s Supper was just that—a supper. It was a banquet—a potluck dinner that included bread and wine. It was the table communion of the saints. A family festival. A fellowship meal.”
Granted, we don’t view every meal as the Lord’s Supper, or specifically eat in remembrance of Him. But we do avail ourselves of the opportunity to grow in our relationships that eating together helps accomplish with each other.
I read a statistic recently about how the evening meal is often the only time a family spends time all together. Granted, we’re not a blood family but since one of our specific core values is discipleship, it comes easy to deepen bonds with one another when you eat, pray and play together. We seek to build a balance between formal and informal time together, and for us today is yet another excuse to do that, besides being grateful.