Making the Grace Table at Christmas

My move to South Africa came with a lot of surprising and unexpected changes.

I had a tough time readjusting almost everything.

I badly missed my family and friends. That was bound to happen anyway.

Now I have to make new friends and learn the mores of this new place.

The first Christmas I spent was anything but fun.

There were no friends coming over, no friends to visit needless to say who was I hoping to see anyway?

I enjoy cooking–especially our local African dishes. And now, there is no platform to do so.

My disappointment won’t go unnoticed.

My husband tried hard to make the most of that Christmas.

Sometimes we can't be with family members during the holidays. It can be challenging and lonely. Here is a great article that will encourage you this year to set the "Grace Table" in your home.

Well, there was something missing?

Not something, some things really were missing…

  • The Grace table
  • The family
  • The meal

Does this sound familiar?

For me, Yes…

If you closely observe, Jesus always did something unique.

He always ate with the people (Luke 15:2).

Sometimes we can't be with family members during the holidays. It can be challenging and lonely. Here is a great article that will encourage you this year to set the "Grace Table" in your home.

He always had a meal and a table to share the moment (Luke 7:36 and Luke 11:37).

The Lord Jesus always had these moments of dining with His disciples and with people.

Jesus clearly showed us the beauty of having a community we could share our table with. Click To Tweet

We may not always have a get-together, but this holiday season provides such a rare occasion.

I made up my mind to have a more exciting and satisfying holiday experience. Now I had to tackle these three things that were absent.

Finding the “Family:”

Was I expecting our family to come over through no less than six hours flight time each holiday?

Certainly not! We had to find or should I say make a family here. Like Jesus, “family” was His partners in ministry, the disciples. He found community in His followers (Mark 3:35).

“Family” is beyond blood ties

“Family” is what makes a community.

Community is family”

To find that family we need to find a community.

For us, we found that community in the local church where we were attending. It won’t be long I made new friends and family was born. And soon enough, there were people to cook for.

Making the Meal:

If you love cooking, you enjoy satisfaction from watching the folks who relish your dish. Call them your “Food Fans.”

Cooking is more than the mere act itself.

It is beyond the process of mixing, grinding, adding the ingredients, turning up or turning low the heat etc.

Cooking is way beyond the savoury and appealing taste of the meal itself.

Cooking is about the platform of love and sharing that it creates. Click To Tweet

That art of mixing and concocting all the ingredients with love and joy brings a delightful smile to my face.

That is what makes each meal satisfying.

Making the Grace Table:

At the dinner table, the glasses of fine wine, the dishes of different meals, the laughter, smiles, and the noise from the spoons when they scoop from the ceramic plates make it all come together.

Whether you make the meal and packaged it in food packs and went over to another home just or a family or two come over to join you in your home whichever way, you have created “the grace table.”

The grace table is about the moments you have shared with your community–family, friends, neighbours, etc,

Let all the meals, the cooking or baking in this season.

Be about “the grace table.”

Be about the Love shared at the dining.

Be about the moments we have shared together.

Be about the grace that comes with cooking.

In the process of making a grace table, you will find a community and create lasting memories.

As you plan your Christmas, create a “Grace Table,” share love and laughter with your community, find joy in these profound moments and enjoy delightful meals.

By His Great Grace,

Ifeoma Samuel


Thank you, Ifeoma, for a wonderful reminder about family, community, and reaching out to share a meal with those around us. Moving is so difficult, and I believe your story will encourage those who are in transition this Christmas. We appreciate your message and your encouragement today.

~ You can connect with Ifeoma by visiting her website HERE.


Ifeoma Samuel:

  • I am by God’s grace totally, a daughter, a granddaughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, an in-Sometimes we can't be with family members during the holidays. It can be challenging and lonely. Here is a great article that will encourage you this year to set the "Grace Table" in your, colleague, who loves God passionately.
  • It is incredible how God uses ordinary everyday life experiences to teach us about His immense love for us and draw us closer to Him.
  • And that’s what I write about mostly.
    I share articles that point you back to the story-giver, Jesus and encourage you in your faith walk. Let’s do this together!
  • Among my numerous favorite things, I enjoy being a Sunday school teacher, I enjoy writing, reading, speaking and playing chess when I am less busy.


**And, would you do me a favor — if this article has encouraged you today — would you share it with someone else? 

~ I regularly link to these AMAZING SITES~

© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

27 thoughts on “Making the Grace Table at Christmas

    1. Hi Randy, thank you for highlighting. It is important we keep our hearts and actions in the right place.
      It has been great reading your thoughts.
      Many Blessings to you and Melanie

  1. This reflects so much of my heart – but also highlights some thing I forget at times! We usually have an open house on Christmas night for anyone who wants to be with ‘family’. I’m going to miss that this year as we are travelling the country to be with family. But as I read through this great post I was reminded that I can have the grace table idea in my heart – even as I sit at someone else’s table.

    1. Hi Belinda, I totally understand. We are also sharing the table with our pastor and other church ‘family members’. So we are heading there on Christmas day by God’s grace. How fun!
      Thank you for sharing your reflections. I appreciate it.
      PS: Have a safe trip around…
      Hugs and Blessings to you

  2. Tonight we open our home to strangers who are traveling through to meet family for the holiday. Thank you for the reminder of community and love as Jesus showed it.

    1. Hi Michelle, that’s amazing! I pray you all share and continue in love at your grace table.
      Thank you for joining us over here.
      God Bless, Michelle.

  3. Great article and so practical. Sometimes we are afraid to open our homes to others because we have the notion that we can’t do things well enough, but grace is what people are lacking and the only place they’re going to find it is in Christ. Ifeoma, I didn’t know that you were not originally from S. Africa? New tidbit of info! Where did you live before? Blessings to you and your family as you celebrate together.
    Thanks, Melanie, for serving up grace at this “table” of abundance!

    1. Beautifully summed up, friend.
      As to where I come from, I am Proudly Nigerian.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts friend. I am always very pleased to have you.
      Plenty Blessings to you

  4. Thank you, Ifeoma, for this wonderful article about the table of grace!

    We’ve moved a good bit as well, and there is something so comforting about sitting around the table in a new friend’s home.

    Thank you for being a woman who shares grace and kindness wherever she goes!

    Your life blesses mine~

  5. People often miss the importance of Jesus taking the time to eat with people and the barriers that broke down. I have recently started cooking with my young children and it is such a special time of bonding too!

    1. Yes friend, barriers were really broken down!
      Thank you for joining us here, Tara. I do appreciate it.
      Many Blessings to you

  6. Your words were beautiful! I love the way you describe the grace table and how to make one of your own. Gathering community to share in a meal is the perfect way to create a grace table. Thank you for these life giving words today!

    1. Hi Mary, I am happy you enjoyed reading this.
      Thank you for joining our grace table here *smile*
      Sweet Blessings to you.

    1. Awesome and Fun, Barbie.
      I will be heading over to join my pastor, his family and other members at their grace table too!

      Thank you for joining our grace table here.
      Many Blessings to you

  7. Love this for I have made many “grace table” since we have lived in several countries and several states in the USA. I get to do it for my blood family this year and it’s been a while since we have all been together at Christmas. Great post.

  8. Your Grace Table sounds like an excellent idea as eating together brings grace and fellowship. Friends become friends as we are friendly (as my mother used to say.) When our children were growing up we always had an open door policy for their friends. Now, due to my husband’s health, we only have family over, but it would be so nice to have some ladies over. This year for Christmas we are going to our daughter’s place and others will also come. This will be the first year we haven’t opened up our place for Christmas. Times change and we are getting older. God has been good to us. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  9. Beautiful post, Ifeoma. I’ve had to find my own grace table in Turkey. We’ve built family over years of celebrating together with brothers and sisters from church. Now, I’m thankful to have a grace table with my “real” family in Texas this year.

    Thanks for this great series, Melanie. Merry Christmas to you. Let’s make much of Jesus!

  10. Create a grace table, Yes! That is key to letting the rest fall into place, Ifeoma. I love that. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart for others like this and may He bring in that community to hedge you in and fill the table of grace this Christmas!

    1. Oh Hi Dawn…We will be going over to another family’s grace table for Christmas! How fun right?
      Thank you Sweet friend.
      Blessings to you

  11. What a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of the Savior who opened up His grace for us all! There are so many broken, hurting, and lonely. This is the perfect time to make yourself available to them, and food is the perfect way to touch their soul! Thank you for sharing this idea!

    1. Hello Amanda, food is a graceful key to people’s heart…I couldn’t agree more.
      Thank you Amanda for joining the table.
      Many Blessings to you

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