Monday, February 27, 2012

Around the table [another lent meditation]

I'm convinced the most important piece of furniture, at home or in the church, is the table around which the family gathers for meals. While growing up at home, we always, or as much as possible, gathered around the table for the evening meal. Rare was the time when that didn't happen, and if it didn't it was because of an emergency or dad worked overtime. There we enjoyed the company of the whole family; laughed and discussed the deep issues of life that were troubling us. Yet sometimes there was as much conflict as comfort, sibling rivalry between my sister and me; correction and direction that needed to be meated out. But regardless of the atmosphere, prayer always began our meal, and somehow we always got through it knowing the bottom line was family was greater than anything else.

So its still a great joy when family gets together around the table ... its a special time!Its a special time in the church family also. Matter of fact our common table sits right in the center of our worship space, and has the words "In Remembrance Of Me." Its no coincidence that the greatest tool Jesus left us, that brings both memories and promises, is a table laden with bread and juice. Table fellowship is crucial to the lifeblood of our church family.

Yesterday I rejoiced as we shared, after AM Worship, a "homemade bread and stew" luncheon. The food was good, but the fellowship was even better; yet it always saddens my heart to see anyone eating alone, so my meal is always more of a hit and miss, as I nibble from chair to chair; something my mother certainly would not have allowed. Even in our church family we don't always see eye to eye, and sometimes conflict seems to take priority over comfort., tensions seem to strain everyone's nerves and stretch our patience ... in those times we look again to the table in the sanctuary.

This Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, we'll gather around another table, same motto, different style, and we'll celebrate the beginning of this Lenten Journey. We'll start the route back to where it all took place - the cross; the road back will hold many memories, and perhaps even create some future ones. Though the path will be well trodden, there will be new challenges if we dare to open the eyes of our heart, and block out the cacophony of noises from the world. We'll share some selected scriptures, lift our voices of praise, we'll receive the Sign of the Cross in Ashes, and then we'll eat and drink together his symbols of love and grace and promise. And we will all be reminded again, that which makes us family is far more important than the issues of life that would divide us - we're blood relatives, through His blood.


  1. In today's society, it's tough to get everybody together. We can only manage it two or three times during the week, but we're religious about Saturday and Sunday nights. It's important to do that regularly for familial health.