I met a college student who grew up Amish. We got coffee and he shared the story of his family’s journey out of the Amish church–it was a sad tale, but redemptive.

I asked him what values from his upbringing he retains–values which some of his peers may find hard to fully understand.

He said that he had a deep desire to build his own house. That his future home needed to have a large kitchen. The kitchen and dining area would be beautiful–and at the center of the floor plan. He said the most important piece of furniture in his home would be his dining table.

“Family life should be expressed in its fulness in the home, because this is the place where the specifically religious dimension and everyday life meet. The home is intrinsically a religious institution, and the family table is the center of the home. The idea that a meal can be a sacred occasion is so deeply rooted in many religious traditions that it cannot be accidental or of passing significance. The Jewish Passover and the Christian Love Feast are among the more familiar examples of sacred meals. Of special significance to us is the fact that in the Gospel accounts the risen Christ was recognized by his disciples at the moment they began sharing in an ordinary meal (Luke 24:31-35). This leads to the hope that every common meal may be, if we are sufficiently sensitive, a time when we are conscious of the real presence of our risen Lord.”

Richard J. Foster, Streams of Living Water, 271.