No doubt when our new colleague, Sue, arrives we will be organising another meal to welcome her and in addition to her Circuit welcome with its accompanying cup of tea and biscuits !
What is it about food and drink that makes these occasions so important ? I think that we relax when 'at table' and so friendship and fellowship deepen and become more binding. We relax to the point of opening ourselves up more to each other and to more meaningful conversations. I've found that it's over food or even just a simple cup of coffee, that some of the more intimate moments can be found; its across the table that memories are created.
Little wonder then that Jesus is so closely associated with food and drink: loaves, fishes and 5000+ people, coming to the house of Zacchaeus for tea, in the home of Martha and Mary, in the home of Peter when healing his Mother in Law (she then cooked), sharing an evening meal with two disciples at Emmaus, breakfast on the shores of Galilee, and ultimately that last meal which we re-enact at Sacrament.
Maybe the Church needs less meetings with endless committees arguing over standing orders and more fellowship gatherings around the table, for its here we get to know each other and, as community, will start to deal with the more important things of life; each other.