Have you had a fast food meal today?
A local author and theologian is encouraging you to slow down... and take time to sit down with friends and family to have a meal and talk.
Douglas Webster teaches theology at Samford University.
In his recent book, he looks at hospitality as a big part of faith.
Doug Webster says, "I was so impressed with the whole story. Jesus and the conversations he had over lunch."
And that was part of the inspiration for his book, "Table Grace".
Doug says, "There is that importance of meeting people face to face eye to eye in conversation that's real that goes beyond the superficial boundaries and you can go from an easy banter to in depth conversation over lunch over dinner."
He says... too many people stress over having people over for a meal.
Doug says, "I would like it to trigger conversation mainly among brothers and sisters in Christ... to the value of hospitality it doesn't need to get real stressful."
He says too many people are too busy... to sit down and visit... but it is healthy to do that physically and spiritually.
In his book he shares stories... like feeding the 5-thousand... with just a few fish...
and Jesus making breakfast on the beach.
Doug: "Jesus meets the human needs emotional needs and deep seated spiritual needs."
Too often... lunch is just for business.
Doug: "Conversational relationship to get things done transational relationship not nearly as important as transformational lunches."
Doug: "We're proud in the south of our hospitality... and constantly told we're a place of hospitality."
But he says there is a trend to ask someone out to a meal instead of into our home.
and home is where the heart is.
Doug: "In order to know a person you need to be eating together and cleaning up together. Hospitality... that is really what God underscores."
His daughter is now married to a pastor and is a bible study teacher... she taught out of her fathers book... Table Grace and found it helped young moms savor dinner at home... instead of stress over it.
Kennerly King/Doug's Daughter. "We had 12 young women... their days are filled with getting 1 meal after another for others. We can get busy and get kids fed and get onto the next activity. The book is helpful to redeem time so it wasn't a drag."
Douglas Webster says... his inspiration also came from his parents who opened their home to 30 to 80 foreign students each week for bible study.
Doug. "Growing up with that example with parents that opened their home every Friday night that's how I came to this. Christmas instead of buying presents for ourselves we .... these students... from Hong Kong... didn't have scarves gloves... that was our Christmas... we bought for others.... that's great for kids growing up with that kind of thing."