Sitting together around the dinner table is a powerful thing. In the craziness of schedules, school, and activities, a family meal seems more like a luxury than a necessity. But research continues to show that one of the most important things we can do for our kids is eat dinner with them. The list of benefits is amazing—increased vocabulary, better nutrition, kids more than twice as likely to get A’s… Just as important is the love and listening that happens around the table. As we share the highs and lows of our day, we give support & laugh & cry together. Here is a place where we belong!
In our Bible reading for Sunday found in Luke 14: 1, 7-14 Jesus talks about table manners. (As you can see from the photo, table manners are a challenge in my family. LOL) Jesus says, “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed.” Luke 14: 13-14
The verse got me thinking about the power of the tables at the Cornerstone Community Center in Chicago. The tables around which the youth are gathered feed hundreds every night. This is holy time and space for those experiencing hunger and homelessness. Yes some were poor, crippled, lame, and blind. But the people we met were more than those labels. They have joys & fears, jobs & interests, and love to share. Around these tables they belong and are community. We were the ones blessed as we served the meal, washed dishes, and listened to stories.
Another powerful table is the one that calls us together as family of God—the Lord’s Table. Here too we bring our joys and burdens. Here too we belong—not because of our power, importance, jobs, or wealth. We come with messy faces, messy lives, and messy hearts and we are welcomed by the One who lovingly gathers all. The One who died for all. The One who then strengthens and empowers us to leave the table and go out to live and serve.
As the new school year begins, consider the power of tables in your life—home, community, and Lord’s Table. How will your family commit to gathering at these tables? How will you be strengthened and blessed