One of our daughters got married on a lovely day in October. Preparing for it long-distance was a challenge. She’s lived in Florida since 2022 and the wedding took place here in Georgia. We missed out on the fun of planning together face-to-face, and the thought of forgetting or messing up a crucial detail terrified me.
Our original guest list of nearly 200 people was the max our venue could accommodate. Although we tried to keep up with the RSVPs, sometimes people are hard to nail down and things happen. When preparing to feed so many people, it’s easy to question quantities. We trusted the caterer’s formula for the meal itself. My husband and I each calculated how many gallons of water, sweet tea, and lemonade we’d need, but at the last minute, my daughter wanted us to double it to be safe. Same with the appetizers we made for guests to enjoy while the wedding party took photos.
Sure enough, we had plenty of leftovers. At the end of the evening, we loaded the back of my car with the extra food and drinks and sent more home with our adult children. I knew what we’d be eating for supper each night and what my husband would take to work for lunch each day. And after months of excitement and anticipation building towards this day, I welcomed a week off of kitchen duty.
Have you noticed how items appear larger when you bring them into your home? That a couch that seemed a reasonable size in the showroom barely fits in your living room? That’s how it felt when we unloaded the leftovers and stacked metal pans filled our garage refrigerator. No way could we eat this much in a week. I began looking for opportunities to feed others with our bounty.
A friend and I had planned to get together the week after the wedding, so I invited her to eat at our house instead of going out. Two days later I hosted an impromptu lunch for some ladies in our neighborhood. What a spread! We filled our plates with smoked chicken, pulled pork, cowboy baked beans, salad, and tidbits from fruit and veggie trays. The food assuaged our hunger, but the fellowship satisfied a deeper need.
Have you noticed how many stories in Scripture involve Jesus and food? He began His earthly ministry by transforming water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-11) and concluded His time on earth with the Last Supper (Luke 22:14-20). He fed a multitude with five loaves and four fishes (John 6:1-14), ate with sinners and tax collectors (Mark 2:15), and was anointed with oil and a woman’s tears during a meal (Luke 7:36-50). He used parables about wedding feasts to teach humility and radical hospitality (Luke 14:7-24).
Jesus continued to serve others through food after His resurrection. He fed the disciples after a weary (but successful) night of fishing by welcoming them to “come and dine” (John 21:8-14). When He encountered two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they didn’t recognize the resurrected Jesus until the moment He broke bread with them (Luke 24:30-35).
The connection goes even deeper: Jesus referred to Himself as the bread of life, the satisfaction for the hunger and thirst within our souls.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
John 6:35 (KJV)
With Christmastime upon us, I’ve been thinking about the enchanting decorations and delightfully predictable holiday movies. Warm traditions and festive gatherings. It’s a time when spirits rise, but depression rates soar. For many, Christmas brings bittersweet memories of loved ones who’ve passed. Some struggle to balance busy holiday calendars while others battle loneliness that’s more acute this time of year.
Sisters, we can make a difference in someone’s life with something we do every day: sitting down for a meal. Breaking bread together involves more than eating; it’s about serving people and spending time with them. It’s about slowing down, sharing stories, and savoring food and fellowship. You don’t need to throw a fancy dinner party (although you certainly can if you’re able and enjoy it). But all you really need to do is just open your circle a little wider. Pull up an extra chair to the table.
Let’s open our hearts and our homes this season and view mealtimes the way Jesus did: as an opportunity to serve others and come together in fellowship through the ministry of breaking bread.