On Sunday morning, Pastor Josh read from a blog post titled A New Approach to the Table written by Shauna Niequist. It is a good read and you can enjoy some quotes from the post below or you can read the whole thing here. Let’s pray that we will be a people marked by practically displayed and deeply impacting hospitality and that we will have homes and even tables marked by the blood, sweat, tears, and incredible joys of authentic gospel centered community.
In the last couple years, I’ve found that many of the most sacred moments of my life have taken place around the table. Young or old, male or female, married or single, I think the table matters for all of us. And I think the table matters whether we’re talking about a formal dining room set with matching china or a beat-up coffee table in a first apartment. What matters isn’t the food or the table or the settings. What matters is that we create spaces to see and hear one another, to learn one another’s stories, not just the textable sound bytes.
There will be a day when it all falls apart. My very dear friend lost her mom this year. That same month, another friend’s marriage ended, shot through with lies and heartbreak… These are things I can’t change. Not one of them. Can’t fix, can’t heal, can’t put the broken pieces back together. But what I can do is offer myself, wholehearted and present, to walk with the people I love through the fear and the mess. That’s all any of us can do. That’s what we’re here for, the presence, the listening, the praying with and for on the days when it all falls apart, when life shatters in our hands.
The table is where we store up for those days, where we log minutes and hours building something durable and strong that gets tested in those terrible split seconds. And the table is where we return to stitch our hearts back together after the breaking.
We don’t come to the table to fight or to defend. We don’t come to prove or to conquer, to draw lines in the sand or to stir up trouble. We come to the table because our hunger brings us there. We come with a need, with fragility, with an admission of our humanity. The table is the great equalizer, the level playing field many of us have been looking everywhere for. The table is the place where the doing stops, the trying stops, the masks are removed, and we allow ourselves to be nourished, like children. We allow someone else to meet our need. In a world that prides people on not having needs, on going longer and faster, on going without, on powering through, the table is a place of safety and rest and humanity, where we are allowed to be as fragile as we feel. If the home is a body, the table is the heart, the beating center, the sustainer of life and health. Come to the table.