Cache directory "/home/content/f/w/s/fwschmidt/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ttftitles/cache" is not writable.What you can learn eating Sushi

Most of the sushi we have had, we eat at home, but we ventured out to a Japanese restaurant last night. The food was delightful.

I noticed when we walked in, though, that the hostess, servers, and cooks called out to one in another in Japanese when we arrived, when others arrived, and throughout the time we were eating.

I asked our server, “What is the staff saying, when they shout out across the restaurant?”

“Oh,” she said, “well, part of it is the concept of an open kitchen. So some of what is being said announces that food is ready for you or for someone else. But when you arrive and when you leave, another part of it is a welcome and a farewell and thank you.”

I watched as we left and responded. Noticing that, in fact, the cooks and servers did exactly as she said they would, smiling warmly and bowing. What I also noticed was how simple gestures of hospitality made you feel instantly welcomed and part of a place.

Our homes and churches should be places that signal the same kind of warmth.

2 Responses to “What you can learn eating Sushi”

  1. Glen says:

    An interesting metaphor here and expectations for the church… It is also fascinating to think of what is expected of the customers in a sushi restaurant. There are responses, specific vocabulary (actually vocabulary that varies by venue with some words used only in a sushi shop), phrases like prayers that are uttered before one partakes, a phrase after finishing eating, a phrase to ask for the check, and then a phrase as one leaves the restaurant. These are pretty much all predetermined. Then there are the pleasantries and ad-lib conversations that are common with the cooks in the open kitchen. These are learned in childhood and flow naturally in most adults. Phrases vary slightly by region and between sexes. Interesting to think about this in the context of your analogy…

  2. fwschmidt says:

    Glen you are right. The first thing that occurs to me is that all hospitality and all community for that matter depends upon ritualized, as well as spontaneous gestures and words. We are prone to think that the former is dispensable and the latter is the sign of genuine care. But, in fact, for a group of people to sustain true community both are needed and both can be genuine vehicles for caring….just as contracts, covenants, and constitutions “formalize” a relationship, but their vitality and reliability depends upon the informal efforts to fulfill those goals. We wish you had been there!

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