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 13: Why You Don’t Eat Ham with Your Fingers at a Banquet

Scripture: John 2:1-11

This story is often remembered as the first miracle story in the Bible. Jesus changed water to wine. What can you learn anew by focusing on the art of hospitality as illustrated in this parable? How is hospitality an expression of your Christian faith? How does it involve the concepts of sharing and community? Why is hospitality more than just about a Martha Stewart table?

  1. Have you ever been embarrassed by your children’s manners? Or your own?
  2. Do you enjoy having company? How is extending hospitality important for Christians? Maybe cloth napkins and china is not your style, but what is? Share your experiences.
  3. What are your rules or expectations for family mealtime? Have you ever discussed them in a calm, rational time rather than the heat of the moment? Discuss the difference in results between these two approaches.
  4. How do you encourage friendly family table conversation?
  5. What unspoken lessons have your children picked up from you—or could if you are not careful?
  6. Have you ever run out of food for guests? This is a major stressor for some people when they invite guests. How did you handle it?
  7. Have you ever lived in a culture where a wedding went on for days or a week or more? What did you observe and learn about hosts and guests and hospitality?

Activity: Have a class party to sample foods. Group members should try making a sample-sized treat or food they haven’t tried before. Bring enough for everyone to taste. Or go to and check the archives of recipes there for new ideas.

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