Group Study Guide for

Whatever Happened to Dinner?

[Cover of Whatever Happened to Dinner?]

Recipes and Reflections for Family Mealtime

by Melodie M. Davis

These study questions are also available as a download here.

Also see Whatever Happened to Dinner? in the MennoMedia online catalog.

Introduction Chapter 4 Chapter 8 Chapter 12
Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 9 Chapter 13
Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 10 Chapter 14
Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 11 Chapter 15

Chapter 1: Even Cave Kids Knew What Dinner Was

Scripture: Matthew 13:33

Read this very short scripture passage at least three times, slowly. What strikes you about this parable? What is going on in this passage? Why did Jesus tell it?

  1. Think back to your grandparents or great-grandparents. What stories do you know that tell you about their family eating patterns? If you donít know and they are still living, ask about their patterns and customs. Record their stories on video or audio.
  2. What is your favorite meal of the day? Why? What makes this meal your favorite? The foods served? The companionship? The solitary time over Bible and study materials?
  3. Do you enjoy large group meals at holidays or other occasions? Why or why not?
  4. What does having guests do to your meal or fellowship experience?
  5. When you think of family eating together, do you think of your immediate family or of a larger group of relatives?
  6. How much responsibility do you feel for your larger family? How does that show?
  7. Do you think earlier generations had more or less time for dinner? Why? Do you think they worked more hours or do you?
  8. If you have lived or worked in countries or settings other than your current one, what did you observe about mealtimes in those places? What did you like or dislike? What can we adapt or learn from those settings?
  9. What makes mealtime difficult in your family? How have you worked at that issue?
  10. Have you observed uncivilized behavior at the table? How do you work at incorporating good manners and polite behavior? Is politeness overrated?
  11. What is your kidsí go-to food? What will they always eat?
  12. What foods did you like or dislike growing up?
  13. How did you fare when visiting friendsódid you like their food? What did you do if you didnít?
  14. Did you take your lunch to school? Discuss that tradition or memory. Is it nostalgia to think those days were better? What did you like that the school cafeteria fixed? Are the foods served today better or worse nutritionally? Taste wise? Have you ever observed the amount of food wasted in school cafeterias? What can be done about that?
  15. How did you learn to like new foods?
  16. How can family dinners be like the yeast in Matthew 13:33?
  17. Can you recall a favorite blessing for mealtime, from your family, grandparents, or others?

Activity: Stir up Jodiís quick honey wheat bread (5 minutes) and bake it while your group discusses this chapter and then enjoy the bread at the end of your time together (55 minutes average cooking time).

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