Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott


February 1, 2011

Dear Friend,

In America, the restaurant check is brought as soon as you finish eating.  The goal is to “turn the table” and pack in more customers.  In other countries such as France and Mexico, the waiter won’t bring you the check until you ask for it.  The goal is to linger and to enjoy the company of others.


Are your meals with others fairly hurried moments as you eat quickly and move on or more leisurely times of conversation and mutual encouragement?


Jesus enjoyed lingering with people over a meal.  “Here a dinner [deipnon] was given in Jesus’ honor.  Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.” John 12:2*


The Greek word deipnon is translated feast, banquet, supper, dinner.  It may also be understood to mean the “lingering meal” – the exact opposite of fast food.


The deipnon made a meal with others a key part of one’s day and not merely something to be inserted between activities.  It meant three things:  food, conversation, and lingering – and the food was secondary.  The primary function of the deipnon was to talk – to be “with” one another - to speak of what was happening in your lives and in the world around you.


I encourage you to slow your meals down at home.  Eat more slowly and talk more about the matters on your heart and what is happening in the wider world.  Do the same when you share a meal with friends or fellow workers.


When eating with fellow believers, know that our Lord joins you!  “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."  Matthew 18:20


Make the lingering meal a regular part of your busy life and be encouraged!


With joy - E. Stanley Ott

Copyright 2011 E. Stanley Ott

*Scripture from the NIV