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What does your kitchen table look like? Is it round, square, or oblong? Is it large or small? Regardless of its size or shape, I would hazard a bet that it’s the most popular gathering spot in your house!
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.””
Luke 22:19 – NIV
When you throw a party at your house, where do your guests like to gather? At my house, the answer is clear and consistent. It’s the kitchen. I bet it is the same at your house.
I find it fascinating that while I have both a living room and sun porch full of comfortable furniture, be it friends or family, everyone wants to hang out in the kitchen. If they choose to sit, it’s at the island that we use as a table. If they remain standing, they still tend to gather around the table. Have you noticed this same phenomenon in your home?
It doesn’t seem to matter whether I serve drinks or have food on the table, my visitors are drawn to the table. Why is that? What is it about a table that invites people to gather around it?
Perhaps the table evokes good memories of family mealtimes. Maybe it reminds us of good friends laughing and eating together. Perhaps the draw is the sharing and caring we have experienced when we come together at the table. Whatever the reason, one thing is certain, the table is a place of comfort and communion.
The themes of table and blessing have been running through my mind this week. I have continued to contemplate the importance of counting our blessings, of cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Yet, there remains a lingering question that continues to challenge me. Is it enough to give thanks for our blessings or are we expected to do more?
There is a line from my pastor’s benediction at our monthly communion service that keeps turning in my mind. It is a line from a beautiful poem by Jan L. Richardson called ”And The Table Will Be Wide,”* and it reads, “And the blessed will become the blessing.”* I wonder. Is that it? Are we to do more with our blessings than simply writing a check and patting ourselves on the back? Are we meant to actually become the blessing? Are we to become the blessing with our words, our smiles, our attitudes, our joy? Are we to become the blessing by passing on the peace as true peacemakers? Are we to love as we have been loved, not just loving those we like, but loving those who are hard to like?
Jan Richardson’s poem goes on to say, ”And the blessed will become the blessing, and everywhere will be the feast.”* When we become the blessing, we invite others to the table. When we become the blessing, we share instead of hoard. We open the door for more joy, more peace , more love. We swing the door wide open and welcome in hope. Just imagine for a moment what it would look like if we all focused on counting our blessings, and then gave away more than we received. Think about how far the blessings would flow, how plentiful, the feast. The table would be wide with plenty of room for all to gather.
Friends, I don’t know about you, but I want to sit at that table.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34 – NIV
O Dear Jesus, gather us all at Your table. Let the table be wide and let everyone find a comfortable seat. May the feast be plentiful. Teach us to share and to care, to give more than we receive. O Lord, how You have blessed us. Let us become the blessing , loving as we have been so deeply loved by You.
In the Beautiful Name of Jesus, we pray,
New Year’s Blessings,
*Excerpted from “And The Table Will Be Wide” by Jan L. Richardson