The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps of joy and with my song I praise him” (Psalm28:7)
The usual thing for November is to talk about how
thankful we are and those things/people for which we are thankful. And I am thankful. Really, I am. For the last year, EFUMC has made a weekly practice in our worship to write down one way in which God blessed us that week. We brought them forward as a praise offering. It’s beautiful to read them each week. And, it’s a reminder that gratitude should be every day not just November. Instead… I keep thinking about “the Table.”
I was supposed to be the Spiritual Director for a
women’s retreat weekend. The talk I was supposed
to give is about the Means of Grace, our holy moment encounters with God. Some of these moments are our sacraments, others, moments of everyday, ordinary,
holiness when heaven touches earth. For me,
understanding both of these – sacraments and
ordinary moments of extraordinary grace – come with images of being gathered around a table. Whether it’s the Lord’s Table, a dining table, a kitchen table, a
coffee table, a counter with stools, there is an
opportunity for intimate and honest conversation
and presence with others.
Sharing a table allows to really see people. And it allows people to see us. Scripture teaches us that Jesus revealed himself at the table. He taught about the Father and
himself over meals. He for told the crucifixion and
resurrection at the Passover meal. The disciples
recognized Jesus after the resurrection by coming to the table with him. Communion isn’t just Sunday morning worship. Communion is every time we eat and drink and remember Jesus. Every meal, every time.
This month’s sermons will be about a call to Come To The Table. As we get ready for the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving, many of our traditions are about food, gathering with family and friends. Who will be at your table on Thanksgiving? What will be on your table? What will you talk about? Who will you invite?
Who will be missing?
At the Lord’s Table, there is place for everyone – for
anyone. The difference between an invitation and place card. You can decline an invitation and perhaps, your place will be offered to someone else who can/will come. But a place card, that holds a space for the intended guest.
At the Lord’s Table, you have an invitation and place card. No one will get your place if you decline. It's
waiting for you, no matter how long it takes. There is a place for you. As a focus for prayer this month, we will have place cards for you to write a name on. Who is missing from our table? Who needs to hear an invitation from the Lord, from you? We’ll place the name cards on the center table as a reminder to pray for those people who are missing from our tables.
I invite you into a spiritual discipline for the month of November. As a practice of remembering Jesus, eat as many meals as possible at your/a table and without any distraction. No eating on the couch while
watching tv. No eating on the run or in your car. Sit at the table. Sit with your family, your friends. Invite
people over for a meal or dessert or coffee or
something. Just no mindless eating in November.
Be present at the table with Jesus. Your body and heart will be full.