Sacramental Act of Sharing Your Table

IMG_4264.JPG

Of late I've been reading about eating.  Yes, eating.  How eating is something we often don't spend much time thinking about, because, well...we do it everyday in this Western world.  But, did you know that in Ancient Near East culture, it was gathering around the table & sharing a meal where covenants were created and hospitality was formed.  

If I had you at my table and served you food, I was making a declaration, "This shared meal is an act of our binding that I will not betray.  You are part of the family."  Does this sound familiar in the New Testament?  

How do you view your table?

  • Is your table cluttered, rarely used to eat at, while resembling a landing spot for odds & ends?
  • Is your table little, boasting of minute space to dine?
  • Is your table simply a fixture in your home, because that space says “dining room?”
Our life at the table no matter how mundane, is a sacramental act.--Simon Carey Holt

Simon Carey Holt’s words sing to me like the spring robin outside my window.  This life is full of the valley’s shadows.  The more we age, we certainly cannot run from this reality.  

Our hearts longing for a home perfection & a table feasting with delight before a King--who ransomed life, so that we would find ourselves in good glory.  

But...

What if our tables in this here & now--our physical tables stood for the good glory.  The Spirit ushering about, breathing it at the tables.  It’s not so we can skip past this life only looking heavenward.  But to take in the graces of this life given, which speak of a Table never broken.

Share your table

My birthday wish was to cook a wonderful meal to share with my closest friends & feast in the summer warmth of the Pacific Northwest.  The lights were strung with yellow lanterns in between.  Two card tables pushed together with one purple/orange tablecloth making it one.  

Our meal of grilled pork loin with local cherry compote, birthday salad, & grilled apricots with mascarpone cheese, all paired with fruit of the vine.  The food was lovely; yet, the smiles & laughter of these women I love made the food taste divine.  

That evening I opened this second hand picture frame to find one of the best presents from my friend Talia.  A picture by Nikki McClure of a gathering around the table with three simple words, “Share the Table.”  

This life online, where we find encouragement & community is good.  I have found & met people who are kindreds, but it’s the life around the table where it’s really shared.  

Jesus came to heal the sick & save the lost, most of which happened around the table.  

It was the table where the tears ran down her face & bathed his feet alongside the alabaster perfume.  

It was the table where he performed his first miracle of turning the water to wine.  

It was the table where he chose to spend his last hours before being sent like a sheep to slaughter.  

And it would be at the table where he would join them to eat his first meal after stomping down death’s door.  

How Sharing our Tables Translates

1. Not Bon Appetit

Sharing your table isn’t a fancy affair, or gourmet meals--it’s sharing life.  Jesus shared life at the table.  I encourage you to spend more time thinking about how you can bless those around your table with you than the food.  I’m certain you’ll be surprised when they want to come back.

2. Food Serves as a Bridge

It really isn’t about the food.  It doesn’t have to be dinner.  It can be cards & ice cream, or simple appetizers.  Food is simply the vehicle to the destination of hospitality.  I think it’s why Martha gets a bad wrap versus Mary.  Mary knew that it’s the person over the food that matter.  Now, if we can sprinkle a little of Martha’s practical with a lot of Mary’s devotion, we could share our tables more aptly.  

I encourage you to step out this week and invite someone you know or want to know into your home; whether, it be for afternoon coffee/tea or dinner.  

What deters you from sharing your table?  How have you been encouraged through sharing your table?

***This is an updated post from a year ago seen at Sisters in Bloom.