Seventeenth Sunday of Pentecost

He Was Happy Just to Eat the Scraps that Fell from the Rich Man's Table

Luke 16: 21

In Jesus' time wealthy people dined like Greeks or Romans, copying their customs as best they could.

The men ate first, sitting or reclining around tables, sharing large platters of food, eating mostly with their fingers. Individual place settings and utensils were not used. Wine was most usually drunk with the meals.

The women would eat later in the kitchen from the same platters.

The platters were often made of silver, and pitchers and bottles of very fine glassware were often owned by the rich.

The table linens were damask, a type of heavy linen woven with flowers or patterns. Someone's grandmother in the class may own damask napkins or a tablecloth.

The food and wine were kosher, following the dietary laws in the book of Leviticus. The wealthy could afford meat and honey, so they probably served lamb, and there would be sweet pastries for dessert. Today in that part of the world, people eat rice with lamb, but rice is never mentioned in the Bible - Jesus always talked about bread. So they may have eaten pita bread with the lamb and vegetables.

Copy the cover on light green card stock, and make as elaborate a table setting as you like, with a heavy white cloth made from coffee filters or paper lace doilies and silver or earthenware platters and glassware from colored papers and films.

Remember the scraps on the floor. The dogs came in after the meal to eat the scraps that fell from the table; the poor man was ready to join them.

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