Setting the Table!!

First off…. sorry for being late with this weeks post.  My wife and I were with her family celebrating her parents (who are really now my parents as well!!) 60th wedding anniversary!!  We were on our way back from that yesterday.  I believe a really good reason to be a day late here, so hope you won’t mind.

Last week I was given that wonderful picture of “people of the table” and that is still resonating with me and making me wonder then what does that look like for His church?  For a good table experience for the folks we invite to it seems some preparation is required.  So this week just wonder with me a little bit about what it might look  like as far as  what setting up the table might represent and maybe explore a little bit of what we might expect at that table (or maybe in your experience what it already looks like)

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I believe part of the challenge for the church today is that maybe we have tried to make the Sunday morning worship service the table meeting (would love to hear your thoughts on that).  It does seem to be the place where most of our prep or setup takes place.  That is if we looked at where the church leadership puts most of it’s effort and resources into it would (at least at most of our churches) be that Sunday morning experience (and I am certainly not suggesting that we shouldn’t give good energy towards that).  But is it where we are really able to open up our lives to each other and others we are trying to invite to the table?  In many ways I wonder if one of the functions of this worship service experience (the gathering together of God’s people to worship Him) might be the place of invite… but an invite into a table experience?

So where this is the set up going on then for table experiences?  How much of our effort as the church (the believers) are we putting into that… and expecting to “entertain” people at table experiences?  And what will that set-up look like?  I do believe there are some attempts that continue to struggle within our churches towards that… but how are they going?

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I am going to stray from my usual long-winded post and wait to hear back from you about either where that table prep is already going on with the believers at your church, or maybe where it is being attempted. For myself and my wife I know that we would point to some wonderful small group experiences we have either been fortunate to be a part of or have orchestrated.  What is it for you?? or what do you dream or vision it could be? or maybe some of the challenges you see associated with it?  And yes it is a challenge… because I believe many of us may sense the resistance to this type of table experience from the adversary.  One that would certainly be enlisting more and more of the priesthood!!

And then we may see those wonderful challenges of the “one anothers” that we see throughout the NT become more commonly practiced in our relationships with others…

“…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
“…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)
“…Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)
“…Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
“Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
“Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)

This is just a sampling of the 50 – 60 of these kind of instructions throughout the NT!!  But how and where are we realistically being this to one another (which includes others we don’t even know yet)?  The table should be getting prepared to do this… but what does preparation really look like and towards what?

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