Do you use your table? Or is it a catch all for all your projects?
What if we brought back the table?
In his book, From Tablet to Table, Leonard Sweet says, "If we were to make the table the most sacred object of furniture in every home, in every church, in every community, our faith would quickly regain its power, and our world would quickly become a better place. The table is the place where identity is born--the place where the story of our lives is retold, re-minded, and relived."
This is what I missed growing up...A family that actually sat together, ate together and communicated with one another. We didn't have electronics vying for our attention back in the 70's and 80's, we just missed the value of the table all together. No disrespect to my parents. We were just your typical American family.
If you think about it, much of Jesus' ministry involved gathering people, sitting at tables, and sharing meals together. But the most important characteristics of these meals were the stories...teaching...revealing of truth.
I am a gatherer! I always have been. I love gathering a group of people and sharing life with them. Whether it be a meal, a Bible study, a weekend get away, a couple of friends around a fire pit...I LOVE sharing stories.
I love life shared with others. We were made for it. We were made for community. And what better way to find community, than at the table.
I am convinced that our culture actually longs for table time.
So here is my challenge!
I want to be intentional about table time. With family. With friends. With people.
Sweet reminds me that, "Jesus ate all kinds of food around all kinds of tables in all kinds of places with all kinds of people. To be a disciple of Jesus (then and now) is to love to eat, no matter what Jesus cooks and no matter where he sets the table."
Which brings me to another topic...
And with many other words he [Peter] solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:40-42
Jesus had already given his command in Matthew 28:18-20 to go and make disciples. And now we see Peter testifying and exhorting people to be saved. And those who received his word were devoting themselves to teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.
Discipleship at it's best!
I am sure most of this was happening at the table too. How do I know this?! The majority of Jesus' ministry happened at a table. The disciples were just passing the baton. They where modeling what they saw Jesus do.
This, my friends, is how the world is reached for Christ!
I recently heard a podcast on disciple-making by Robby Gallanty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church. Gallanty said...
"You are not learning for you, you are learning for the next person. The gospel came to you because it was heading to someone else. Either you are running with passion to hand the baton or you're fumbling to had off."
This is where the rubber meets the road folks!
Do you believe that the table could be use to share the gospel? To teach? To disciple? To pass the baton?
If the answer is "YES" then let's bring back the table in our families. Jesus' family includes marrieds, singles, widows, orphans, lepers, and sinners...
Let's create space to share a meal and dive deep into life stories and Christ-centered conversation with our families....with people in our communities.
What if you opened your home and your table to women in your community, workplace, or neighborhood? Everyone is looking for a place to be known, to be heard, to be a part of something bigger.
After all, it's what Jesus did!