10 January: good food, good conversation.

Broadstairs Baptist Church, Kent.

I hope you were able to get together with family and friends over the Christmas holiday, and enjoyed a few good convivial meals. They were certainly high points in the Turnstone family’s celebrations. It was good to have with us the member who had been stranded in Cornwall when the covid lock-down was announced. Here’s a paragraph about good food and good fellowship from James Boswell’s account of the visit of Doctor Johnson to Boswell’s house in Ayrshire, north of Glasgow.

We gave him as good a dinner as we could. Our Scotch muir-fowl, or growse, were then abundant, and quite in season; and, so far as wisdom and wit can be aided by administering agreeable sensations to the palate, my wife took care that our great guest should not be deficient.”

From “The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D.” by James Boswell

The Broadstairs mosaic shows fish – which were landed at the pier, seen in the background – and perhaps the wine is from nearby vineyards, along with the grapes. But the bread and wine -and indeed the fish – recall the many occasions when Jesus was at table with his disciples, or with pharisees, or indeed with shifty characters like Zaccheus, and whatever happened to him?

We may find ourselves at table with allsorts as well. Let us pray that we may respect all those who share our meals, family, friends, work colleagues, or chance encounters in pub, cafe or public transport. Let’s pray for good food, and good table fellowship with true wisdom, and wit without cruelty, and gratitude to cook and Creator.

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