At the table in Jesus' time, a lot of meals were eaten sitting on the floor, something most today would think to be very different. Also, everyone dipped out of just one bowl. In Jesus' time, the tables were much different.
The Last Supper took place during Passover and no chairs were used. The kind of conversation Jesus was having at the table is still being discussed today. Jesus talked about someone very close betraying Him to the point of death. Now this was very startling to the disciples sitting around the table that night.
Oftentimes we find ourselves unprepared and ambushed with information someone shared with us at the table. Just as the disciples begin to question themselves about their commitment to Jesus the Christ, we may find ourselves in the same place.
Growth can occur at times when we begin to question ourselves when someone is sharing parts of their lives with us. Conviction needs to happen, not condemnation. Rom. 8:1 says "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (NKJV)
However, sometimes we may be able to relate to what someone reveals to us. Other times what's said is so beyond our normal way of life. There are times conversations at the table have humbled me and helped me gain a better understanding about my current season of life.
Conversations at the table have not always been what I personally wanted to hear or even be a part of at times. At the same time there were conversations that were very needed and life changing. Our conversations with each other are vital parts of our lives for growth, change, encouragement, direction and development.
Open and honest communication is so vital to our movement and actions in every aspect of our being. Conversations over food have been a time for me to ask those important questions such as "How are you doing?" Often people will give you a textbook answer. However, it's important to know the true well-being of someone.
Everyone needs someone they can be open and completely honest with about where they are on life's journey. Good communication skills are vital for us to have for better relationships across the board. Gaining clarity on the subject matter and seeking understanding are necessary tools at the table.
God wants good commuication from us in our relationship with him through our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (NIV Matt. 7:7) How open are you about your life? What platforms do you use to make the contacts?
Acknowledgment is acceptance of the truth or existence of something. "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me." (Ps. 51:3)
The confession is a formal statement admitting that one is guilty of sin. "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 8-9)
The big change is: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Cor. 5:17)
Do you have friends? How are your networking skills? Getting to know people can be very exciting and also sharpens your communication skills. Do more listening to the person at the table. Good listening is very important in networking, friendships, and relationships in business and life. Maintain eye contact, learn nonverbal communication skills, engage the audience or person in discussion, start and end with key points.
Season is the God set time to accomplish His will and purposes for matters of life. Dispensation is the alignment of different seasons over time. Some are very much needed at the right table setting.
Anthony Armstrong is senior pastor at Unity Christian Fellowship Church at Pine Bluff.
Editor's note: Pastors, ministers or other writers interested in writing for this section may submit articles for consideration to email@example.com. Writers should have a connection to Southeast Arkansas. Please include your phone number and the name and location of your church or ministry.