Coffee and Conversation at Table!

The kitchen table was the center of conversation for our family during my growing up years. I have fond memories of my mother leading share times around that table at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This was also the setting where mom would engage neighbor friends with a good cup of coffee just before school each day. My after-school reporting came at the same place as mom wanted to know everything about my day. Customers, while waiting on their cars to be serviced at my dad's nearby shop, would also sit, sip their coffee, and visit around that same table. It became the center of our family’s “conversational universe!”

Coffee and Conversation at Matt's!

I know that many busy families have a hard time these days getting all their loved ones to sit down and eat a meal together. The pace of life and individual commitments seem to have encroached on these daily opportunities to be and do life together at a common table. It’s hard if not impossible to get everyone to take a few minutes to simply look at and interact with each other. There were no snack trays in my family when I was a child, and my mother would never have allowed us to eat in the living room at mealtime, let alone watch television while we did. Things have changed and not all for the better!

Monique and I only eat at one of two places: the kitchen table or the island counter we call the “food bar” on the backside of the stove top. On Fish Fridays and Sandwich Saturdays, we like the change of venue the island bar provides. We sit at the table for all other meals. Even though our children are all grown now, we could eat in the family room where the nearest television is located, but we choose not to. Monique's family, as well as mine, took all their meals at the kitchen table. This mutual practice is firmly etched in our eating DNA’s! We still like our conversation without the distraction of the media!

Where are you doing life with your spouse or family today? Do you spend time reporting on your day’s activities? Is the conversation lively and affirming? We always had an unwritten rule that we would not do our disciplining of the children at mealtime. We avoided sharp words, negative attitudes, and divisive opinions during our meal gatherings too. Though I am told that at Monique’s house, there would be an occasional conversation around table where grammar or word choice would necessitate some corrective measure like getting out the dictionary for clarification! 😊

Jesus was known for enjoying a good meal and had a reputation for engaging all classes of people. “Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers.” (Mark 2:15, MSG). I can imagine that during those numerous occasions at table, our Lord relished the conversation. His winsome and engaging ways were no doubt contagious. People wanted to be in his company! His critics had to be amazed even though they questioned, “What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the misfits?” (Mk.2:16).

“What kind of example is this?” they asked. Jesus was approachable, non-discriminatory, and affirming. No wonder he attracted such a following! What good could be accomplished for the kingdom if we followed His example? We worry that our youth will struggle with in-person conversation. Many seem to be awkward and aloof. We want to blame their isolation on social media platforms that allow them to have easy remote friends. But we fear these are not real friendships that will grow into healthy interactions and genuine relationships that offer the needed support for life’s challenges.

Let’s continue to pray for our youth and the next generation of leaders. We also need to encourage them to build genuine, lasting relationships and friendships. Many of these may often begin with coffee and conversation around a table!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.


  1. I enjoy your weekly posts! ❤️Lindsay

    1. Thanks, Lindsay! I always appreciate the time given by busy folks to read these!


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