Day 11: Maybe the Table is the Church
Does 4:30 in the morning count for yesterday's post or should we call it grace swapped for a tired mama falling asleep at 8:30 at night? I've been stewing lately about food at the table & church. Bear with me and my process.
I've been thinking about how I want an intentional life. We cannot live so sporadically and expect to be the change we desire if there isn't an element of intentionality in our month to month, week to week, day to day. If we're being honest, I haven't been faithful with my resources in the week to week and month to month. My food budget is overspent, because I feel like adding something more; rather, than using what I have.
This isn't always bad, but when it creeps in and evades my ability to give it is. Money, resources, time are all ways I get to be intentional, purposeful in this short life I'm given. I'm not a meal planner, because I loathe the restricted feeling on creativity. But truly, how much culinary creativity is there in the eleventh hour when you're running around like a madwoman? This isn't Top Chef Kamille.
What if I had a menu plan and that meant more time for play, for spontaneously inviting people over after Sunday service, having leftovers for Ben. See, all of this planning & doing is built for the creativity to birth, for life to birth.
I have this vision of what the church actually looks like and it's not in the confinement of four walls with chairs or pews facing a stage. With post modernity and the advent of home churches and demise of big box building churches, I'm sure if I were a pastor at the later I would feel anxious of my stock plummeting. Scared about the future of the Christian church. Would it all fade in the abyss & no one would know about Jesus?
But what if church is truly what so many pastors speak on...that it is outside the walls? What if its the marketplace and the home, while the evangelism of the 80s and spiritual laws and sinners prayer pamphlets are devices that need to be done away with and the old fashioned modeling of opening your home, sharing your table is the church? What if its sharing a meal with the person walking through divorce? What if its taking time out of our Sunday and getting to know someone know for the sake of the gospel? What if its welcoming in the new neighbor into the mess of our imperfect lives, in order that we can all live again?
I'm beginning to think the church is going to be fine. In fact, I believe in these times, it requires us to stop, have a conversation (and another and another), and put forth the effort & work. I grew up thinking I needed to have all the answers. I grew up believing that my faith needed to be systematic, when my core is relational. And even my relational self has a hard time allowing my home and heart to open up to the outsider. But, what if this Jesus thing isn't us inviting someone to "church," because that place on Sunday seems kind of weird when you think about to someone who doesn't know the traditions.
But...it's not awkward to invite them into our home. It's why hospitality truly is the evangelism of the day, or maybe it always has been. This hospitality & sharing our tables isn't something that can be boxed up and written out in four spiritual laws. There isn't a tidy pamphlet to pass out & follow. It's crazy messy, altogether exhausting, but at the end when you're washing the last of the dishes, seeing the last person out you feel warmth.
Because in doing, we've opened our hearts to the possibility of life.