On the way to Sunday … table manners

Where did you learn your table manners?

Most of us learned them growing up at the dinner table with family.  I blame my habit of eating fast on my mother who taught me I could not be excused from the table until my plate was empty.  Therefore … gobble gobble … “I’m done. May I be excused to go out and play?” became the norm.

But I also learned a lot of other good things:

Elbows off the table.

Take your hat off.

Chew with your mouth closed.

Don’t reach – Ask.

You know the routine.

In the realm of learning manners, I was fascinated to discover a little book penned by George Washington (yes that George Washington – first president and all) when he was a young boy.  The book was Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation.  Washington wrote down 110 rules that were drawn from an English translation of a French book on maxims intended to polish one’s manners.  The rules provide practical advice in any century like:

Rule 51 Do not be hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of any

You can read more excerpts from the book here.

Jesus had some ideas about what table manners should like.  He actually encountered a group of men at a banquet that had written a rule book for manners (including many new rules), but they also tried to force the rules on others.

What if all that you had learned about proper social behavior was wrong?

What if there was a different way of behaving in public?

Would you be willing to adopt the new rules as your own?

See you Sunday @ the table …


I am a United Methodist Pastor and have the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor for the church of my childhood. I preach in a place I once was an acolyte. I love to preach, but more importantly I love to teach. I firmly believe that Faith Matters and should affect how we live. This blog is a place where I come to share the randomness that is life and faith ... and the intersection of the two.

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