Thankful for Potlucks

Yum! Yum! It seems like any time you get a bunch of church people together for a luck meal, you are truly going to get lucky. I thought Lutherans had the corner on the potluck market, but tonight I attended a meal preceding  a gathering of our local Fellowship of Churches and found that not necessarily true.

One of the true joys of potlucks is sampling a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Unlike going to the food bar at your local Ryan’s, Hoss’s or other “pitch ’till you win” trough and tea restaurant, a certain level of decorum still abides. Folks tend to play nice and not be too hoggish, waiting patiently and trusting there will be plenty even if you’re bringing up the rear of the line. How many times at a church potluck have you eyed that last tasty spoonful left in the dish but not had the gumption to take it? After all, “mom-wisdom” generally says “don’t be a hog and take the last bite; leave it for someone else.” I guess that’s why so many dishes go home nearly empty rather than scraped clean.

One feature of potlucks is the distinct presence of comfort foods. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a potluck where there hasn’t been at least one jello salad or macaroni and cheese bake. It’s an opportunity to tote out your best artery-clogging recipes to share with others — unless you happen to be a major “kill-joy” like me who tends to take spinach salads or vegetarian lasagna. Think about it: fried chicken or spinach salad. What would you choose?

The very best thing about potlucks is that there always seems to be more than enough food and way more than enough variety. Like Jesus with the loaves and fishes, folks are fed aplenty and there are always some leftovers. Just as birds of a feather flock together, folks and food find common ground and full bellies.

For Further Reflection

What’s your favorite potluck contribution? What’s the best dish you’ve ever sampled at a potluck meal? Care to comment on the worst?

Be sure to give thanks for the opportunity to gather together and share communal meals. It sure beats dining alone on a can of soup!

Photo by Tobyotter used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!

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