How do we prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus – as Advent invites us to do? Jesus, who spent so much of his time at table, talking, eating and sharing with his friends. Table time was so much a part of Jesus’ life that we are encouraged to make it part of ours.
Table Tuesdays is an initiative of www.lifetalk.co.za that invites every family to start having dinner together on a Tuesday (or other) evening. It is very sad and serious that so many families no longer eat meals together, around a table, away from the TV and cell phone. Life’s pressures take precedence and we’re fast losing our connection to each other. But time doesn’t wait and suddenly years pass and precious moments and opportunities are lost forever. Many studies show that teens who have frequent family dinners (five or more) compared to teens who have infrequent family dinners (two or fewer per week) are less likely to become addicted to drugs and abuse alcohol; are more likely to do better at school; are more emotionally content and have a much lower risk of suicide; have more positive peer relationships.
Family mealtimes are a wonderful opportunity for communication and bonding, for learning about what’s going on in each other’s lives – and for conveying values. Children pick up language and vocabulary skills. There’s debate and laughter, and sharing of feelings, fears, successes, hopes and dreams. It’s a time when you can live in the moment, solve problems, enhance general knowledge, recharge batteries and take refuge from life’s hectic pace. Current challenges can be discussed and the best ways of dealing with aspects such as: alcohol, drugs, sex, bullying, peer pressure and safety can be explored. Family stories and anecdotes are passed on, self-esteem can be built and parental example provides role models on which our children can base their lives. The benefits are limitless and they act as a ‘life-jacket’ that helps children to cope with life’s inevitable challenges…. Alan