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 7: So What If Dinner Isn't Picture-Perfect?

Scripture: Luke 19:1-10

Why did Jesus want to go to Zacchaeus' house (we presume Zacchaeus fed him, too)? What did the self-invite signify? How can you be open to hosting guests from different countries, income levels, lifestyles, political persuasions, or religions? What if others consider your guests to be “sinners” or “lost”? What does the story of Zacchaeus say to this situation?

  1. What bad or sad memories do you have of mealtime?
  2. Have you disciplined children at the table? With what results? Have you ever made children sit at the table until they tried a food? How do you handle cell phones or texting at the table?
  3. Have you noticed signs of a food disorder, or have you dealt with a food disorder, in your family? What does that do to family mealtime?
  4. What ideas do you have to focus more on the relationships and fun in a family gathering and not as much on the food or a perfect table?
  5. Have you ever decided to spend a holiday away from extended family? Why? How did that work out?
  6. Do you have different political or religious opinions in your extended family? How does that affect holiday mealtimes and what can you do about it? How do you deal with differences?
  7. How can you be more thankful for the blessings you have?
  8. What are your special holiday foods or traditions? Share with each other.

Activity: Have each group member bring a photo from a holiday or family meal, either a photo of their current family or their family of origin. Ask each one to share what was going on in the photo, what was really going on (the undercurrents of who argued with whom), and a bit about the particular personalities and quirks of those in the picture.

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