Posted in: Big Faith, Devotion, Growth
Come To The Table
Some of the best advice my wife and I got before we married was to invite people over to our house for dinner on a regular basis. “Have an open home,” our mentor-friend said.
We took her words to heart. Every other Monday, we invited friends and family for a night of dinner and music and conversation and laughter. Our little apartment would fill with noise and joy. To this day we love hosting a meal with loved ones and being part of an ancient tradition that connects us all.
What do you do right before you leave a friend’s or family member’s house after they’ve had you over for dinner? Isn’t there always a moment where you express your gratitude? You feel compelled to say “thank you”. Though you might not say all of this out loud, what you’re really saying is, “Thank you for cooking, for cleaning your home to make a hospitable place. Thank you for buying the food. Prepping it. Cooking it. Then cleaning again after I leave. Thank you for all the work that was done and will be done.” But there’s more you’re thanking them for - you’re also saying, “Thank you that the work you’ve done has opened the door to an enriched relationship with you.”
The meal did more than fill a belly - it provided a space for connection.
By eating at someone else’s table you’re accepting a gift that you couldn’t have ever given yourself. You can’t give yourself that love because you can’t give yourself community and hospitality. When someone invites you in, they welcome you into their home and into their lives.
When we gather together in the name of Jesus and partake in communion, God is beckoning us, welcoming us by saying, “Please come to my table! Please take part in this tradition, this meal I’ve prepared for you. You couldn’t do this on your own, but don’t worry, I’ve already done all the work. Now I want you to spend time with me and get to know me better.”
And so when we dine with Him we get to know Him better, and then other things begin to happen as well. We get to know ourselves better… Jesus reveals our very worth. As Pastor Jeff said, “Are you feeling inferior?... Inadequate?... Lost? Come to the table.” Feeling distant from Him? Come to the table. Overwhelmed by the weight of the world? God’s already overcome the world, just come to the table. Need to be healed and cleansed and forgiven? Come to the table. Need to be seen? Come to the table. Dine with Him and simply say, “Thank you.”
Throughout the week…
- Approach each meal as a sort of communion with the Lord. Whether it is with others or by yourself. Pray a prayer that is different than the typical “saying grace.” Remember, He has invited you in. Spend time in a genuine moment of gratitude and connectedness with Him.
- Invite someone over to your home and prepare a meal for them. Do it this week if possible. If that’s not possible, at least extend the invitation and get it on the calendar. When you prepare the meal and connect with someone you love, simply acknowledge to God how beautiful the tradition is.
- Next time you’re at church taking communion, don’t go through your normal routine. DINE with Jesus. Thank Him for His true invitation into relationship with Him and the miraculous work and sacrifice He made in order to invite us in.